Monday, August 19, 2019

Arthur Birling at the Beginning of Act One in An Inspector Calls Essay

Arthur Birling at the Beginning of Act One in An Inspector Calls JB Priestly wrote the play of ‘An Inspector Calls’ in 1945 but set the play in 1912, Edwardian Britain. The writer intentionally set the play in 1912 to make the audience aware of social conscience. Another reason why the play was set in 1912 was because, some of the historical events mentioned in the play, the audience would be familiar with as they would have lived through the time and would know the real results of how they ended and what the causes were because the era from which he set was very different to when he wrote the play. In the play, when these events are mentioned, Arthur Birling says the opposite to what actually happens such as when Birling said there would be no war, world war 1 started two years later and world war 2 ended in mid 1945; there were sturdy comparisons and discrimination between the upper and lower classes in the 1912 era but the class distinctions had significantly reduced in 1945 as a result of two world wars; the ruling classes saw no necessities in changing the status quo but in the time in which ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written, there was a great passion for social change in the classes and immediately after world war 2, Labours Clement Attlee won a landslide victory over the conservative Winston Churchill. The main events mentioned in the play are the world wars, would ‘never happen and the Titanic, which was ‘unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable’. One evening of happiness and bliss brings the Birling Family and Gerald Croft to distress and truth, as they are celebrating the engagement party of their Daughter Sheila to Gerald until an inspector calls regarding the death of a young girl who had poisoned ... ...himself he and his family have no part in the girl’s death and so it would be necessary for the inspector to leave but then finds out he and his family played the most important part in the girls death, and even after hearing that, he still tries to turn a blind eye. Some ideas and themes J B Priestly was trying to convey through the character of Arthur Birling were Cause and Effect and Social conscience. Clues, which are given in the play to the audience about the result of Arthur Birling as the play progresses, are all found with the language Birling uses to speak about himself. Also, His characteristics show that as the story progresses, when Birling is hit with a mistake he thinks he never made, he will face a major downfall in his position in the society, and will lose respect from family members employees and everyone else who has respected him.

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