Contrasts In J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

654 Words3 Pages
An Inspector Calls: Question 17 An Inspector calls has been called a play of contrasts Write about how Priestley presents some of the contrasts in the play Throughout the play ‘An Inspector calls’ there are many contrasts shown by Priestley not just in the Birling family but in the whole society of 1912. Some of the contrasts that will be explored are, the openness to change between the old and young generation, the contrast between Sheila and Eva, the feelings of responsibility and contrast between the Inspector’s self-assurance and the disappearance of the self-assurance of the others during the course of the play. The things I will take into consideration are the mood at the beginning and end of the play, stage directions, the use of…show more content…
A main example of this is how they take responsibility and how the old generation such as Arthur and Sybil Birling abnegate all responsibility and how the younger generation accept change and responsibility, for example in act one when the Inspector accuses Mr Birling of starting a chain of events when he sacked Eva. Mr Birling being a very arrogant man believes he had nothing to do with her downfall so he replies to the Inspector, “I can’t accept any responsibility.” This is a prime example of the older generation refusing to accept responsibility. Priestley presents this in a very direct manner which is shown throughout the play and doesn’t hide his views on the older generation. Another stage in the play when the older generation deny responsibility is during act two when Mrs Birling refuses to discuss the suicide of Eva and says “I don’t think we want any further details of this disgusting affair.” This shows she doesn’t want to hear any more information in case it alters the situation, also showing how she doesn’t accept change or responsibility. The contrast to this is how the younger generation such as Eric and Sheila accept responsibility, for example in act 3 when Eric says to the family “you’re beginning to pretend now that nothing’s really happened at all.” This shows that despite the fact the Inspector wasn’t a real inspector he has
Open Document