For example, when the Inspector asks Mr Birling, 'Why?' as to why Mr Birling had refused Eva Smith a raise in wage, Mr Birling is completely shocked at being questioned this and says 'Did you say Why?’' This shows that the Inspector is not prepared to wait around for basic answers, he is determined to get the truth by any means possible. The Inspector also interrogates the characters in a particularly harsh and rude manner. He pressures them until they finally break and confess the truth. He tries to make them feel guilty by continuously trying to make them see their errors and how they have been forgetting socialism, making them seem selfish and obnoxious.
Priestley uses the play to show his ideas and beliefs on community welfare and outdated principals, he does this in many ways to manipulate his audience against their normal thoughts and behaviour so by the end of the play they see why things need to change. Priestley presents his idea that the concept of self-help is outdated and uses contrast between characters to illustrate this. In an Inspector Calls there is a clear contrast between Mr Birling, a middle class man, and Inspector Goole. The play was set in 1912, where the middle class wouldn’t have respected Goole as he was of the working class and was seen to be below them. Whereas the play was written in 1946 and in 1946 the middle class would have respected the police more as it was seen as a fairly respectable job.
You can see from this that Sheila is on the same wavelength as Inspector Goole and due to this understanding the inspector takes her with more seriousness than he did to begin with. The way Priestly made the character of Sheila change her mind, also makes the readers of the play change their earlier views of her. The relationship between Inspector Goole and Arthur Birling is that of very different to the inspectors and Sheila’s. For a start their whole ideology is completely different. We can tell from his speech at the beginning, Mr Birling believes in ‘every man for himself’ whereas the inspector, although most would say Priestly says ‘We are members of one body.
Whilst the playwright presents the conflicting views behind Socialism and Capitalism the whole drive of the play is to persuade the audience to support his recognition of the real need for social care and more community spirit, for more people taking more responsibility for others. To aid this persuasion he ,therefore, presents the Birling family, who show little care for others and are representative of a whole social class – the upper class. This family representation is not appealing and any audience will recognise that there are distinct
Priestly uses dramatic irony when Birling is talking such as “you’ll hear some people say that wars inevitable and to that I say-fiddlesticks!” Here J.B Priestly makes Birling look stupid, to make such a silly call like that, that there is no chance of there being a war. But the audience that would be watching this play would know that there have been two world wars in the last 33 years! The audience would now think of Birling as someone who thinks he knows it all! But really does not have a clue what he is talking about! And this is the message Priestly wants to give out about rich upper classed obnoxious people, that they have pretty no idea what they’re talking about.
The type of unclearness that is shown in the film leads to confusion that frustrates the audience itself. But the Director’s symbolism works that a plot couldn’t do. For example, there is more confusion in the way Maria’s son cut all his hair off out of nowhere and shove it to the maid’s mouth, that type of action describes the son’s motivation of what he is going to do. Basically what Denis does is to describe the character’s motivation and their historical events from the beginning to build suspension. We all know that the film was somehow confusing, but the Director Denis has her own approach to portray the climax to the audience.
Mr Birling is a vital part in how Priestly puts his message across to the nation. This is because Mr. Birling is pure capitalism, which shows how ignorant and bad capitalism really is. Mr Birling is an example of someone who has no sense what so ever of social responsibility or duty. Priestly wanted to use this play to show people that going back to how life was before World War 1 and 2 Is a bad move. He wants people to realize how much closer together the country was and how that going back to how it was with massive gaps within class difference was not a good thing.
“An Inspector Calls has been called a play of contrasts, write about how priestly presents some of the contrasts in the play” “ An Inspector Calls” can be seen as a play of contrasts, one major contrast to be seen is the use of language between Arthur Birling and the Inspector, they both demonstrate a variety of dialect through there speech, with Mr Birling saying 'learn... in fire... blood... and anguish' to tell his family the consequences if they don’t change, but also showing that this man is very educated and sophisticated. The implication that the inspector is extremely intelligent is shown in this phrase, trying to educate the family, despite their refusal to change, which is proven later on when Mrs. Birling says “ you’ll all have a good laugh about it later” indicating some of the believe it was a joke. As a reader you can see that the inspector is the face of good In the story if he is evidently trying to change the family for better. Despite the educational tones that the inspector has, the ways in which Priestly makes mr Birling obsessed is just as easy to see in Birling’s speeches as he adds in unnecessary contrasts between the working class and the upper class, whilst celebrating his daughter’s engagement. Its put into an emotional effect when birling does this because it’s meant to have been a special time yet he carries on talking business and wealth.
This is also proven when they ask Sheila to leave the room and stands for her rights to be there and says ‘’No... I want to hear what he has to say’’. When Mr. Birling finds out that Gerald Croft had an affair with Eva Smith, he defends him ‘’ Young men often do this..’’, this shows that he is scared of the Croft’s social superiority as he defends Gerald as the Crofts are higher up the social ladder, this also reminds us how desperate Mr. Birling is
Priestley uses the Inspector to present his own views and outline the lack of social conduct. The play was performed just after World War Two. This means that when it was written and performed, there was much more known about the war and what had gone wrong. Priestley uses the morals in the play to make the audience see that if things had been different before the First World War, things might have been different as a result. Towards the end of the play, the Inspector makes a speech, which outlines his political views.