Explore How J.B Priestley Explores Family Relationships in “an Inspector Calls”

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This essay explores the way J.B Priestley presents family relationships through his use of language in the play, “An Inspector Calls". The term relationship infers the connection between things and emotional feelings between people. The familial relationships between the characters reflect some of these issues that would have impacted a middle class family such as the Birling family at this time. Priestley deliberately set his play in 1912 because the date represented an era when all was very different from the time he was writing. 1912 was a time where young people were expected to respect and be polite to their elders. It was also a time in which women were subservient to men and were expected to do as they say; all a well off women could do was get married; a poor woman was seen as cheap labour. In this year, women of the suffragette movement began to campaign to have the right to vote. Yet by 1945, most of those class and gender divisions had been breached. Priestley wanted to make the most of these changes. In the first few lines of the play we see that there are a few signs suggesting that everything in the Birling Household is not perfect. At the beginning of the play we see Mr Birling acting in a very tense and anxious manner in order to impress Gerald. Mr Birling saying “Giving us the port Edna? That’s right. (He pushes it towards Eric.) You ought to like this port, Gerald. As a matter of fact, Finchley told me it’s exactly the same port your father gets from him.” The repetitive use of personal pronouns “you” and “your” suggest that Mr Birling is very apprehensive and worried about making good first impression on Gerald. As Mr Birling is aware that the Croft family are his social superiors he is even more concerned about making a good impression which explains why he shows off about the port to Gerald. Priestley’s audience would not have been shocked
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