An Inspector Calls Essay

1524 words - 6 pages

J.B Preistley was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, 1894, and had experienced many different social backgrounds. His grand parents were manual farm-workers (lower class), Priestley's farther was a teacher (lower middle class) and J.B Preistley himself started by working in a mill as a clerk (middle class) when he was young It was not jus him who was interested in the Arts, his entire family had also loved drama, painting & literature.When WWI broke out in 1914 Preistley was one of the first men to volunteer and was sent to the frontline. There he was nearly killed when he was buried alive by a shell explosion and was sent home as unfit to fight. He was 40 years old before he wrote for the stage and wrote 'an inspector calls'. Prior to this he wrote articles for newspapers magazines and sometimes he would write novels and poetry. He also spoke on broadcast for the BBC about his views on social responsibility- that the poor, sick and less fortunate need assistance. The conservative government of the time didn't like him airing his views and in result stopped his broadcast. By the time 'an inspector calls' was written and performed in 1944 (Moscow), 1946 (London). The feeling of the time was behind Preistly. The labour government had achieved a landslide victory.An inspector calls was written in 1945, yet the play was set in 1912. Prior to; two world wars, the sinking of the titanic, the general strike of '26 and the economic depression, 1930.In the opening to the play, a great sense of irony is carried on, as comments from Arthur Birling such as " The Germans don't want war" and "This is a great age for young couples" and these were performed to audiences who knew it certainly was not as they to had witnessed; Two world wars, the sinking of the titanic, the general strike of '26 and the economic depression, 1930.Priestley also reflects on his own family history in this play. As I had mentioned before, his grandparents were working class and his father, a teacher. J.B Priestley had experienced the harsh time of the 1930's and believed in society looking after the weakest and also great social equality. Other famous novels and plays have also been based on political views Animal Farm, obviously referring to the general scope of all forms of totalitarian governments, may be seen as a satire of the Russian Revolution of 1917 is a classic example. What's more Priestley was fascinated by the work & philosophy Cuspensky who suggested individuals could improve themselves by learning from their past errors, and would continually replay their lives letting them improve on the previous one. This is certainly imposed by the end of the play.The play is set in the Birling family dining room where the family are sitting down celebrating the engagement of Gerald and Sheila. The play is also set in real time so as the play is performed it is set on the average time a real dinner party would take.Arthur Birling, a rich factory owner is the father and head of...

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