Essay on "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley
"An Inspector calls," by J. B. Priestley was written in 1946 and set in 1912. Priestley was a politician and a socialist who believed in equality and equilibrium for all, sex, race and class. Priestley had a long but arduous life, 1894-1984. He lived through both world wars, the unsinkable Titanic sank in 1912, the general strike in 1926, labour government resigning in 1931, and the two destructive atom bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. Priestley deliberately set the play in 1912 because the audience watching the play had to have lived through all of this and would have empathised with him. Priestly tried to put his non-capitalist views across to the public through different mediums giving 10 minute radio broadcasts and writing articles in the news papers, however using these means, he could never be sure of his audience. He couldn't know if they were paying their full attention listening, or if they were just skimming his articles or even if they were being read or listened.
Hence Priestley decided to use the theatre for his plays, where he had the full undisrupted attention of his audience.
"An Inspector calls," is a play which highlights the importance and relevance of equality and social respect in the community, the story is interesting and gripping with a twist. Priestley is trying to show us how a moneyed, status freak middle class family of the Edwardian Society of 1912 acted, upon their values and their morals. The mysterious Inspector Goole reveals by his interrogation how all of the different Birling family members contributed to the suicide of a low classed, unsupported, innocent, young girl, Eva Smith, and how they have all, in their own shameful way, let her down and killed her through a...