How Important Do You Think Social Class Is in an Inspector Calls and How Does Priestley Present Ideas About Social Class? Essay

426 WordsMar 15, 20132 Pages
How important do you think social class is in An Inspector Calls and how does Priestley present ideas about social class? Set in 1912 An Inspector Calls mirrors the views and opinions of those who superficially believed in social class. Measured by material wealth social class blinded those who participated into thinking they had no responsibility. This play has a moral message that we should think of others and work together to ensure a fairer, more equal society, this idea is known as socialism. By using characters such as the Birlings and Eva Smith Priestley implies that social class had a vast impact in the play. Throughout the play J B Priestley demonstrates just how unaware Upper classes were to how easy their lives were. Mr Birling a strong headed capitalist displays clear views on social class ‘as if we were all mixed up in a hive’. He dismisses any chance that people of different classes should converge. Priestley presents us with the idea that Mr Birling was disgusted with such an idea. He is accustomed to only respecting those in his social class and those in the social classes above him. The use of the word ‘hive’ illustrates an image of people who are impassable. Priestley presents to the audience that people such as Birling act in a way which only causes suffering to lower classes. Mrs Birling is clearly aware of class distinctions and she never forgets 'Girls of that class'. Owing to her coldness and lack of conscience, Mrs Birling is seen as being unsympathetic and out of touch with reality. It is this lack of understanding that leads to her making several snobbish comments. Mrs Birling similar to her husband believes that she does not have the responsibility of people from other classes on her. She displays an exterior which is sometimes hard to interpret by the audience. Priestley uses Mrs Birling to add to all the troubles they have caused
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