Dramatic Irony In "An Inspector Calls"

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Society. A word we use to describe the world in which we live in. Is it some kind of community? No, not always. Societies differ from place to place, different cultures, different cities, different towns; even villages have different understandings of society. This is because the environment is society. Take England, for example. England is populated by capitalist societies but within them like socialist views. Big, successful cities are driven by capitalists towards a destination where only money and power matter – not much else. Socialists, however, drive towards community and fairer places where money is spread out more equally between the people. Which was Priestley? A socialist. A socialist who believed his literature could change views – even lives! He was right. His well-known play, written in 1945 but set in 1912, “An Inspector Calls” influenced a labour victory back in the election after his play went from written script to a performance onstage in front of hundreds and thousands of Edwardian viewers who had seen the horrors of war and what this all did to society. Priestley had also been through this. He wrote to change capitalists into socialists and make people do something about it. “An Inspector Calls” achieves this purpose quite well through the heavy use of dramatic irony. Act 1 begins with a pleasant dinner party between a family who are celebrating a recent engagement. The family are quite ‘high up in the ranks’ and very successful business-wise. The wife being the “social superior” of the husband and the two children due to follow suit. The engagement being celebrated was one between the daughter of the family and the son of another equally, if not more, successful family. The marriage would bring the two businesses and families together as one and thus making both families more powerful and successful – a beneficial investment for both. During
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