In the play â€˜An Inspector Callsâ€™ Priestly aims to educate and entertain his audience. Is he successful? Is the message of the play still relevant today?.
â€˜An Inspector Callsâ€™ by J.B Priestly was first performed in 1945. The play was set in 1912 before the First World War. He set the play in 1912 because in the Edwardian period society was set into classes that were extremely noticeable. Priestly, after the Second World War, did not want society to go back to the way that it was. Rationing and the Second World War its self had brought the people of England and other countries together. A vision of what a truly socialist Britain would be like was seen during the war. Priestly wanted Britain to move forward and not return to the values of 1912.
The play is focused around the Birling family. A visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole proves to be a horrifying experience for the Birlings as they learn that they have all played a part in the suicide of a young girl called Eva Smith/Daisy Renton.
Priestlyâ€™s main aim in the play was to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions, not to shift the blame on to others. Priestly attempts to suggest his ideas through the characters in the play. He uses the inspector to express his own thoughts. The Birlings are used to show how not to behave. Priestlyâ€™s other aim was to show the audience that everyone deserved and needed to be treated equally.
He created each of his characters in the play the way he thought people were. The Birlingâ€™s were very worried about appearances. The way they dressed and how their house was decorated. In both the old movie version of the play and the new theatrical version the house is shown to be filled with expensive items that are useless and un-necessary. Their house had â€˜good solid furniture of the periodâ€™. `The general effect is substantial and heavily comfortable but not cosy and homelikeâ€™.