The Presenetation of the Inspector in Inspector Calls Essay
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The Presentation of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls
J.B. Priestley was born in Yorkshire on 13th September 1894. He gained his writing experience in the years before the war 1911-1914; he did not work among professional writers; he was around “people who read a great deal, cared a lot for at least one of the arts, and preferred a real talk and hot arguments to social chit-chat.” Despite having grown up into his father’s circle of socialist friends, he found himself joining in in their political discussions/arguments. It was around this time that Priestley started to write in his front attic bedroom.
At the age of twenty, and at the outbreak of war, in 1914, he joined the infantry. He left in 1919, having seen active front-line service in France and having narrowly escaped being killed when a German shell exploded three yards away from him and having been a victim of a gas-attack. In “An Inspector Calls”, Priestley uses a lot of his political views in the Inspectors speeches by using him as a kind of a mouthpiece for his socialism. The play was written in 1946; however it was set in
1912, just before the outbreak of WWI. This was a new era when people were no longer willing to accept the poverty or the class system that had gone before. Priestley strongly believed that everyone had some responsibility for others in society and not just their own welfare.
He realised that change was coming and explores this theme in his play. Priestley believed that events are repeated over again unless people face up to their past activities, like Eric and Sheila do, and only this can bring about a positive and equal change in society.
At the start of the play, Act 1, Mr Birling is portrayed to the audience as quite a self confident and opinionated person who doesn’t believe in “collective responsibility”. He feels he