Just drama pieces of work. An Inspector Calls.

Just after the Second World War, John Boynton Priestley published one of his best selling drama pieces of work. An Inspector Calls. This story, causes a lot of debate, especially around the responsibility of the character, Eva Smith’s suicide, the drama revolves around. All the family members, one way or another had an encounter that contributed to her suicide. Everyone has a different reaction to finding out how they knew her, some filled with remorse and regret and others with no shame in their actions, saying it was the right thing to do even.The dramatic irony is extremely thick as Mr Birling’s comments are completely satirical, such as his comments about War and the Titanic being “absolutely unsinkable.” Just as obvious as the irony, the obvious difference in social class is given light through Mr and Mrs Birling being completely unforgiving even when they could have been responsible for Eva Smith’s death. This brings up one of the themes being the social responsibility. In 1946, a year after Priestley’s novel was first published, the first performance, at the time, the economy was basically in shambles. People could barely afford to take care of themselves. Priestly decided to address this in the novel, thinking that if people were more considerate of one another, life would be better overall. To how this relates to the novel, You can tell reading through the acts that, Mr and Mrs Birling, do not care for Eva. Mr Birling even stating “If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn’t it?”(page 14) This is portrayed as Mr Birling dismissing his responsibility of firing Eva Smith, stating that if we were all responsible for all situations that happened to anyone, it would be ‘awkward’. However, with Eric and Sheila, they take a different route. The two take responsibility, even feeling guilty. Sheila feeling the most guilt says, “How could I knowwhat would happen afterwards?”(page 24) Almost breaking down. It’s obvious she feels responsible for her death, but she is yet to be notified that she’s only “partly to blame.”(page 23).Throughout the entire play, only Eric and Sheila take responsibility for what they’ve done. This contributes into another theme. Age.We see that no matter how much the children of Mr and Mrs Birling try to tell them that they are at fault, they dismiss it or blatantly tell them that they did nothing wrong. Mrs Birling, Mr Birlings ‘social superior’, whom I ¬†also believe was most at fault, swayed the Brumley’s Women’s Charity Organisation committee to turn her, merely because she was pregnant and destitute. Even when Inspector Goole is blatantly trying to guilt her, she refuses to believe she was in the wrong. With the younger generation, Sheila, after realising that Eva Smith was the girl she got fired from Milwards, can barely stomach it, fleeing the room even. From these two different generations, you can see that the older are more pompous and arrogant, being prejudice against the lower class. The only real time we see either of the two show guilt is when it is revealed that Eric was the father of Eva Smiths unborn child. At page 52 she says “No – Eric – please – I didn’t know – I didn’t understand.” This can be used as an example that the older generation only cares about themselves. The whole idea was extremely distressed at the thought of her turning away a woman who committed suicide and then finding out that she was carrying her grandchild. The younger, newer generation though, is more forthcoming with responsibility and more willing of changing to prevent this kind of scenario from happening again. In the final act, you find out who takes responsibility and who doesn’t, which from previous examples show that the older generation feels they are off the hook, including Gerald while Sheila and Eric feel they played a part in her suicide. It is clear that the message that Inspector Goole shared with everyone was not received by some.An important detail I think should be brought up is the language that is used in the play. Almost every line, reflects the personality of that character and how they – we(the audience) will portray the character for the rest of the acts. Some speak in exclamatory sentences, other’s use sarcasm or euphemism. The way one speaks represents how we see them. Take Eric for example. From the beginning of Act I, he was constantly contradicting and interrupting his father, Mr Birling.From this, we can take that he is the most socially conscious person in the play so far. Throughout the play though, he becomes more emotional and hysterical and more violent, verbally towards his mother. This comes a bit as a shock to the readers since we’d only seen his well-mannered self with the language use of euphemism earlier. So now we can portray Eric as a normally well-mannered child but when triggered become a hysterical and aggressive person. Another detail to mention is the Birlings and Gerald they are all higher class citizen, meaning that their language would be very different to a lower class or middle-class citizen. So a majority of the time, instead of maybe bluntly saying what they mean to say they would use euphemism. Evidence to support this is when Mrs Birling, talks about Eva calling her “Girls of that class.”(page 30).Coming to a very largely debated topic of the play. Who is Inspector Goole? We know that his presence makes us believe he is a large man, merely from from the narration from when he enters. “He need not a big man but he creates a impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness.”(page 11) Throughout, we never see the inspector falter in his control of the entire situation, never letting anyone, specifically Mr Birling regain control. We know that the inspector is not someone from the upper class, because all upper class citizens have a well mannered behavior but Goole has a tendency to interrupt those who speak and speaks less with Euphemism than the other and tells the truth as it is. This ma

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