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Priestley’s main aim in the Inspector calls Essay

The play ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written by John Boynton Priestley in the year 1946. The strange thing about this book is that the play was set in the year 1912. I believe that there was a very good reason why this play was set in the year 1912, because the character Mr Birling says to his son and his future son in law ‘don’t worry about all of the war scares because they are all bluff and that there wont be any wars; where as us, as the audience, no that there will be future wars for them, because we have passed 2 wars. This is called dramatic irony, because us as the audience no something that the characters don’t.

The characters in this play don’t know that there will be a war; where as us as the audience do, because the play was written after the 2 wars (world wars). From investigation of the Inspector Goole, there were 5 characters who where affected. The affections may have been guilt, sympathy from this girl Eva Smith dieing (most probably to do with emotions), or even from the hope of the whole story getting out to the newspapers. These characters are Mr Arthur Birling, Miss Sheila Birling, Mrs Sybil Birling, Mr Eric Birling, and Mr Gerald Croft.

Mr Arthur Birling is a self made man whose priority is to make money, ‘It’s my duty to keep labour cost down’. Birling is cunning in a way, for he has welcomed Gerald Croft whose dad is a very successful business man, and if he has the Crofts as his family, then he has more change in gaining money by joining the 2 different companies as 1, for he doesn’t have to lower the costs of products to gain more customers than the croft company. Mr Birling always thinks for himself, for he doesn’t care for Eva Smith, but just wants his Knighthood.

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The funny thing about Mr Birling is that he thinks the whole world evolves around money and that anyone would accept it and take a bribe, ‘Look, Inspector – I’d give thousands’. I believe that Mr Birling represents Priestley’s hatred towards businessmen who are only interested in the money going up. At the start of the play Sheila is very pleased with life. Sheila’s response to the tragedy of Eva Smiths death is very sad and she has learned from her behaviour. She is upset for the death of Eva Smith’s death, and takes blame for her death.

She is very distressed by the girl’s suicide and thinks that her father’s behaviour was also unacceptable. When Sheila finds out the death of Eva Smith, she says she never meant to harm her, and knows her behaviour was very bad. Not only is Sheila prepared to admit her faults, but she also appears to be keen and anxious to change her behaviour in the future, ‘I’ll never, never do it again’. Sheila remains calm and mature about the breaking up of her engagement with Gerald. From the inspector hoax, I believe that Sheila has learned her responsibilities to others and the less fortunate than herself.

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