J. B Priestley is the person who wrote the play; An Inspector Calls. He wrote the play in 1945 after the Second World War. An Inspector Calls then produced in London the next year. It is set in 1912 two years before the First World War. It seems that Priestly had an intention to show an important message towards his post World War audience: A morality play through which Priestley is emphasising the need for the social and communal responsibility. There are also many national crises for many issue e.
g. women’s rights, industrial strikes etc.
The main story is about a character, which does not appear in the play. Her name is Eva Smith. In the play, Eva was in a chain of events that led her to her suicide. All the characters with the exception of the inspector played a role, which drove Eva towards her suicide. In the play, the audience have been able to see the dramatic irony of Arthur Birling’s optimistic speeches in which he talked about the Future.
One of the references is when he talked about “The Titanic”. “Titanic-she sails next week… and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable (Arthur ACT1)”
He talked about its supremacy (Titanic), in the end Titanic sank due to an iceberg. In the other hand, Arthur Birling is a prosperous manufacturer. He is extremely wealthy at around his 50s. He cannot be judged and he thinks he is not responsible for anyone in the community. He can be a hard working businessman but only recognised and benefited towards the upper class people like himself ad his family.
Eva Smith used to work at Arthur’s factory. He approved her when the Inspector asked something about her.
She soon bravely asked Arthur for a wage increase, especially from a woman (at that time women does not have the same rights as men). “She Had a lot to say- far too much… ” this speech indicates Birling’s sexist view. Eva Smith was one of the ringleaders who were demanding an increase of wage. Birling refused because he wanted his labour cost down. Birling also found her very rude. In the end Arthur sacked Eva and that made the first chain event which soon lead her to her death. Sheila is the daughter of Arthur Birling.
She seems to be low-esteem, insecure. She has never thought of the suffering in the working class society. She thought never thought that people suffering. The inspector soon put the sense of truth about lower class society and it shocked her. “There are lot of young women living in that sort of existence… ” Sheila Replied” But these girls aren’t cheap labour… ” After two years, Eva Smith in a clothes shop called Milwards. She found the job good, by the impression the Inspector quoted Eva Smith found a change from the hard working of the factory.
Within two months she was sacked. Sheila Birling was in the Clothes Shop, she demanded the manager of the shop to get rid of Eva Smith. This had happen because Sheila saw Eva with a dress that did not suit her (Sheila). Eva held the dress up as if she was wearing it. It made Sheila Jealous of Eva because it suited her and also because she was much prettier. It was an inappropriate behaviour of Sheila, using her social class to attack a working class girl on a stupid and a pathetic issue of jealousy.
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