An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly - How does Priestly convey his concerns about society in his book "An Inspector Calls"

Essay by DoodlipopJunior High, 9th gradeA-, February 2005

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An Inspector Calls

J.B. Priestley wrote the play 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945. He was a politician and socialist who believed that everyone should be treated fairly. He wrote the play to express his concerns about society. He believed in equality for all sexes, races and classes. He thought the class system was wrong and believed that everyone was equally important. He did not approve of the way the Upper Class thought of themselves as superior to everyone else and he wanted everybody to be responsible for each others welfare. Through writing the play, Priestley hoped he could tell everyone his concerns and make them agree with his socialist view.

Priestley deliberately set the play in 1912 rather than his own time because this caused more empathy, drama and had more effect on the audience. Between the years of 1912 and 1946, the audience would have seen both World Wars, the unsinkable Titanic sink, the general strike, the labour government resigning due to a terrible financial crisis, and the two destructive atom bombs dropped on Japan.

Priestley wanted the audience to look back on how people acted before these things, and to realise that they needed to change. Promises were made for a fairer society after World War One. These promises never happened and the same thing was promised for after the Second World War. The Middle and Upper Classes are portrayed as selfish and morally wrong in the play. People will see the behaviour of the Birlings and Gerald before the wretched times and this would upset them and initiate them to realise the little change of their present behaviour and what effect this could cause again.

Dramatic irony is created on pages six and seven when Birling makes comments about the future. He is convinced there will...