An Inspector Calls was written by J. B. Priestly and was set in 1912, but it was not actually performed until thirty-four years later. The affect this had on the play was great, because in that time there were two world wars, the depression and the rise of Socialism. It shows capitalists to be uncaring and self interested with making money.
When the play was performed, it was done so at a time of high morale, where people lived in a community where everyone wanted to look after each other making sure everyone had a good life.
By the time the play was performed, the audience were able to sympathise with his socialist views. In 1912 England was a Capitalist country, and Priestly wanted to show how he thought that this was not the way, in which England should be run. The system had a lack of equality, and the rich were rich and the poor were poor. Priestly thought that by writing this play, he could help make people realise this needed to change. Firstly Mr Birling.
Birlings Essay Sample
He is a character we find it hard to sympathise with. He’s head of the Birlings household and he believes that if you want to get somewhere in life you have to work hard to earn your living. Now that he’s done that he’s become very selfish and arrogant. Mr Birling said “the Titanic is unsinkable and war would never happen with Germany”. This is dramatic irony as it shows he is not always right as the titanic does sink.
He also shows how uncaring and un considerate he can be.
To What Extent Can The Audience Feel Sympathy With The Birlings? To What Extent Can The Audience Feel Sympathy With The Birlings? To What Extent Can The Audience Feel Sympathy With The Birlings?
When Mr Birling finds out Eva Smith is dead, the inspector says that her sacking was one reason that contributed to her death, Mr Birling denies any involvement and really if you like could not give a care less about her. We know this because he says “yes a horrid business, but I don’t see why you should come here” He is basically trying to wiggle himself out of trouble. He also says “…. It had nothing to do with that wretched girl’s suicide”. By Mr Birling using the word “wretched” about Eva Smith, It is clear that he’s unconcerned about the fact that a woman has died, and would just like to forget the whole thing.
As it was performed in 1945 the majority of the audience would have had socialist views and so they would have not been able to show much sympathy towards him. Another character which the audience would find hard to sympathise with us Mrs Birling. She is a cold and uncaring woman. After being married to Mr Birling for so long, she has gradually lost her own character and has now succumbed to just agreeing with whatever Mr Birling says. Her role in Eva Smith’s death was turning Eva down when she went to the charitable committee for help.
She also makes it clear that she does not really care about her death, and if anything she blames the girl herself “girls of that class” meaning that she thinks she’s worthless in this world and that she’s a waste of space. She’s also very disingenuous; we know this because she says, “Though naturally I don’t know anything about this girl”. She clearly does though, by her denial to accept playing a part in her death and the siding up to her husband the audience also find it hard to feel sympathy towards her.