Essay by sandman666A-, April 2004

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J.B Preistley was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, 1894, and had experienced many different social backgrounds. His grand parents were manual farm-workers (lower class), Priestley's farther was a teacher (lower middle class) and J.B Preistley himself started by working in a mill as a clerk (middle class) when he was young It was not jus him who was interested in the Arts, his entire family had also loved drama, painting & literature.

When WWI broke out in 1914 Preistley was one of the first men to volunteer and was sent to the frontline. There he was nearly killed when he was buried alive by a shell explosion and was sent home as unfit to fight. He was 40 years old before he wrote for the stage and wrote 'an inspector calls'. Prior to this he wrote articles for newspapers magazines and sometimes he would write novels and poetry. He also spoke on broadcast for the BBC about his views on social responsibility- that the poor, sick and less fortunate need assistance.

The conservative government of the time didn't like him airing his views and in result stopped his broadcast. By the time 'an inspector calls' was written and performed in 1944 (Moscow), 1946 (London). The feeling of the time was behind Preistly. The labour government had achieved a landslide victory.

An inspector calls was written in 1945, yet the play was set in 1912. Prior to; two world wars, the sinking of the titanic, the general strike of '26 and the economic depression, 1930.

In the opening to the play, a great sense of irony is carried on, as comments from Arthur Birling such as " The Germans don't want war" and "This is a great age for young couples" and these were performed to audiences who knew it certainly...