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An Inspector calls by J.B. Priestly - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
The plot of the play is about the post-mortem investigation of a suicide. Inspector Goole is determined to shake the too comfortable upper middle social class family and address the issue of responsibility. His line of firing brought out several skeletons in the Birling family closets. …
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An Inspector calls by J.B. Priestly

Download file to see previous pages... An Inspector Calls is A Play in Three Acts By J.B. Priestly. John Boynton Priestly was a socio-political commentator. The play deals with individual responsibilities as part of the bigger whole of social responsibilities. The victim suffered from sexual, economic class and social inequality. We read how every character denied responsibility for Eva Smith’s death. The playwright speaks indirectly through the voices of his characters. He puts the reader in the shoes of the characters and we understand the rationale behind their words and actions. He used the Inspector to structure the series of questions that would reveal slowly, the personalities of the Birling family. Priestly employed the technique of active analytical and logical thought to convey his themes. He did not preach to us directly but showed through events what the contemporary social situations were like. Inspector Goole asked awkward and pointed questions like, ‘Get into what?’ and ‘Why?’ This digging showed us the true undercurrents of the superficial version of anything. The honesty of the characters seemed somewhat contrived since they did not attempt to lie or evade his questioning. Priestly had been effective in his message as he used the effect and plausible cause narration to illustrate his points. The reader is not overwhelmed by a sudden load of facts but rather slowly introduced to the complexities behind a topic of discussion.

discussion.

The plot of the play is about the post-mortem investigation of a suicide. Inspector

Goole is determined to shake the too comfortable upper middle social class family and

address the issue of responsibility. His line of firing brought out several skeletons in the

Birling family closets. Each Birling had some depth of interaction with her. Each

contributed to the downfall of Eva. The play explored the identity of the main murderer

or culprit that drove the final stake into Eva's heart by leading her to suicide.

The theme of this play is social injustice. In this play, the victim who suffered the most

social injustice was Eva Smith. Eva used to work in Mr. Birling's factory. She was one of

the leaders in a strike to ask for an increase in pay. Although Mr. Birling acknowledged

her as 'A good worker too'; he refused to grant her request and further hurt her by firing

her. He justified his action by saying, 'Rubbish! If you don't come down sharply on some

of these people, they'd soon be asking for the earth.' (Priestly, 1964). His son, Eric

Birling, took sexual advantage of Eva. Eric's excuse was that he was drunk at that time.

All the characters denied any responsibilities for Eva's death and in fact argued that they

were the ones who suffered injustice. They blamed Eva for their reactions. Mr. Birling

was a capitalist. He goal was to make as much money as he could. He prided himself on

being a self-made man. He extolled the virtues of self reliance but was blind to the fact

that he oppressed workers and obstructed their desires to make a better living for

themselves. He rose from humble beginnings and became self complacent in his current

status. Eva was a threat to him because she reminded him of himself when he first started

out as a poor worker Mr. Birling married above his social class because he was a snob

who spurned his humble roots. Sheila Birling, the daughter, personally complained about

a minor fault and had Eva fired from her permanent job. She was a complacent, spoilt

brat whose actions were totally irresponsible. She blamed Eva because Eva smiled when

she was shopping at Milwards. Sheila was of the opinion that the serving staff should not

smile and be familiar with their high class customers. She thought nothing of her

behavior. She did not know the seriousness of the consequences of her actions. Sheila

recounted to Inspector Goole; 'I've told my father - he didn't seem to think it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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