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

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The well-known play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestly is said to be a progression from ignorance to knowledge. This progression from ignorance to knowledge is not only for the characters, but for the audience as well. The Inspector brings about this knowledge by tactfully making the characters confess to the sins of their past. The characters begin being ignorant and soon learn that they should be more socially responsible and have more consideration for other people. The audience are encouraged to think deeper about the story and work out what lies beyond the plot. Priestly is telling us that prejudice can prevent people from acting responsibly. At the beginning, the characters are ignorant so Priestly uses this as a vehicle for his…show more content…
They continued to believe that they were perfectly justified for how they treated Eva Smith and that they were not at all involved in her horrific suicide. They did not like the Inspector from the beginning and this may be because he is a figure of authority and they do not like to be told what to do or think. They like to be the ones in control. We know this because Birling says to the Inspector “I don’t see why we have to tell you anything. In fact, there’s nothing I can tell you. I told the girl to leave and she went. That’s the last I heard of her.” He is not taking any responsibility. Mrs Birling even says “Girls of that class”, showing us that she is very prejudiced and is making a judgement about someone because of their class. The role of the Inspector is central in helping the characters establish their new knowledge and in highlighting the major theme of the play. When he asked a question, it always seemed that he already knew the answer. Sheila tells Gerald “Of course he knows!” At the end of the play, the omniscient Inspector seems to disappear like some kind of ghost. Even his name, Inspector Google, sounds like goule. It is as if the Inspector is the voice of J.B. Priestly trying to get the message of the play across to the
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