Inspector Calls, Methods And Ideas,

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Discuss the methods Priestley uses to present his ideas. An Inspector Calls is a play written by JB Priestley. It was written in 1946 and set in 1912. Priestley uses the play to show the audience of 1946 how attitudes need to change as it was the end of world war two and this should have offered the perfect opportunity to change. Priestley uses the play to show his ideas and beliefs on community welfare and outdated principals, he does this in many ways to manipulate his audience against their normal thoughts and behaviour so by the end of the play they see why things need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 Priestley presents his idea that the concept of self-help is outdated and uses contrast between characters to illustrate this.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. In the play the Inspector is believed to hold the correct values whereas Birling is shown to hold the wrong values as he is made to seen foolish. Birling firmly stands for the concept of self-help. Though the audience of 1946 wouldn’t have trusted Birling’s idea as he says foolish things like how Germany was only giving “silly little war scares”. In 1946 the audience would see how ridiculous that statement is as they’ve seen how Germany was fully prepared for war. This showing how dramatic irony is used by Priestley as he shows a middle class gentleman to persistently get things wrong. Though the Inspector would have been shown to hold the correct values, and these values are also Priestley’s values. Priestley’s values illustrated by Goole can be trusted by a 1946
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