The sample essay on An Inspector Calls Responsibility Essay Plan deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
‘An Inspector Calls’ was written by J. B Priestly. It is set within an industrial town of Brumley. The play is a mystery drama which explores many kind of themes such as love, responsibility, lies and class and change. Responsibility is the main theme of the play.
We see it occurring many times in the play. It shows that all of the characters, except Sheila and Eric, are irresponsible. They do not want to accept their responsibility for Eva Smith’s death. An example of responsibility in the play is when Mr Birling says in Act One. “It’s about time you learned to face a few responsibilities. (Act One).
But he, himself and his factory do not accept responsibility for what happens after Eva leaves.
He is a hypocrite. His wife, Mrs Birling also does not face responsibility. She denies any responsibility for Eva’s death. She thinks that the father is to blame. She says in Act One. “… I blame the young man who was the father of the child. ” (Act Two). Ironically the father is her son, Eric. Another theme in the play is love. We can find several types of love. The romantic love of Sheila and Gerald, the family love of brothers and sisters and the inspector’s love of the truth.
There are also other attributes of love shown in the play such as gratitude, affection, loyalty and sexual feeling. All of these types/attributes of love are found in the play because Priestley wanted to show his audience whether or not the characters are sincere. The third theme in the play is lies. They lie to each other, to the inspector and to themselves. The characters try to lie in order to get out of their responsibility. An example of lie in the play is when Sheila says to Gerald. ” How did you come to know this girl? ” He then lies to his fianci? by saying. ” I didn’t. “(Act One). Finally, the last theme is class and status. It is not a major theme like the other themes. It shows us that characters like Arthur Birling, value their position in the society. Towards the end of the play, Mr Birling says to Inspector Goole when he is about to leave. ” Look, Inspector- I’d give thousands- yes thousands. ” But the Inspector replies. ” You are offering money at the wrong time. ” (Act Three). This shows how much Mr Birling values his status. He does not want to destroy his reputation in the society.
The play has bee set in 1912 just two years before World War One happened and before the titanic sank. It shows you that people like Arthur Birling, the ex-Lord Mayor who is arrogant and confident, could still be wrong even though they feel secure with their money and power. At the beginning of the novel, he tells his son and Gerald Croft. ” And I say there isn’t a chance of war. ” (Referring to world war one). He also says. ” The Titanic- she sails next week-forty six thousand and eight hundred tons- forty six thousand and eight hundred tons- New York in five days- and every luxury – unsinkable, totally unsinkable. (Act One). He felt so secure and confident about his words that two years later, World War One happened and the Titanic sank on its Maiden voyage. This allows the audience that they should not put their fate in him. Most of the actions are focused on Sheila’s character, the Inspector and the dead Eva Smith. At the beginning of the play, we get an impression that Sheila is happy, delighted and pleased with her engagement. She acts girlish and spoilt when she receives the engagement ring from Gerald. She says to her mum when she gets the ring. “Oh – it’s wonderful! Look mummy-isn’t it a beauty. You can tell from this that she is excited and enthusiastic and that is why her actions are like that. At the start of the play, her relationships to the other characters are good. They have love for each other. But as the plays continues, that relationships she had with the other characters at the beginning changes. Her feelings and relationships towards the characters changes as she finds out the truth about them. She gets to know the other side of the characters she never knew about. If we compared Sheila and her father’s actions, you would find lots of difference between them.
For example, Gerald’s fianci? e co-operate with the Inspector, all the way throughout the play. But her father, at first co-operates with Inspector Goole, but then becomes ignorant and rude to him due to his feelings that his status within the community may tarnish. Another example is that the ex-Lord Mayor denies any responsibility for the young girl’s death and thinks he is innocent. But his daughter accepts her responsibility and even thinks she is guilty. So we could now see the difference between the two characters.
The Birling’s dinner party has a particular impact on the mood and the tone at the beginning of the play. We feel their enjoyment and happiness before the Inspector arrives and every one feels comfortable in the dinning room. However, when Inspector Goole arrives, he interrupts their privacy and enjoyment. The Birling family and Mr Croft start to become awkward and uncomfortable. When the Inspector arrives at the Bilring’s house, a new attitude appears in Sheila’s character. She becomes more inquisitive and starts asking questions. She is concerned about what is going on.
She responds to the Inspector’s questions with prompt answers. It is like the Inspector has some kind of influence on her. She changed from being a young girl into a more mature young woman. Priestley uses the Inspector to create lots of tension in the play. One example is towards the end of the evening, the Inspector told us that not only the young girl ended her life, but also her child. “… this girl was going to have a child. ” (Act two). This is a shock revelation. This throws the audience and family back and a lot of tension and suspense is built up by Priestley.
Mr Birling and Sheila got worried that it could have been Gerald but the Inspector reassures them it is not him. “No, no. Nothing to do with him. “(Act Two). This has created tension and curiosity in the family and audience about who the father of the child is. Another example is towards the end of the drama, Gerald finds out that the Inspector was a fake, the Birlings are relieved, but moments after, they receive a phone call from the police telling them that a girl has died in the infirmary and a police officer is on his way to ask questions.
Mr Birling says to his family and Gerald Croft. ” That was the police. A girl has just died on her way to the infirmary-after swallowing some disinfectant. And a police officer is on his way here-to ask some-questions. ” (Act Three). They all look worried and the curtains fall. This has created lots of tension in the family. They thought they got away with it, but this time it is true and not a hoax. When Gerald’s fianci? e hears that her father sacked Eva, she feels even more guilty. She says in Act One miserably. “So I’m responsible? “(Act One).
In ‘Act Two’, she again blames herself for leading the young girl to suicide. She says. “Yes, that’s it. And I know I am to blame-and I am desperately sorry-but I can’t believe-I won’t believe it-it’s simply my fault that in the end she committed suicide. That would be too horrible. “(Act Two. ) Sheila Birling feels guiltier after hearing that she made her jobless after her father already did. J. B. Priestley creates tension and suspension towards the end of ‘Act One’ and the beginning of ‘Act Two’ by making ‘Act One’ end right where the Inspector asks Gerald a question and then the curtain falls.
This creates tension. The audience are waiting for Gerald’s answer in the next act. Sheila reacts very badly after hearing about Gerald’s summer affair with Daisy Renton. It was supposed to be her engagement night, a happy moment for her and the family but it seemed to have turned bad for the whole family. She fought she found the perfect guy but she hears that he has cheated on her. She says in the play. ” Were you seeing her last spring and summer, during that time when you hardly came near me and said you was busy? Were you? Yes, of course you were. (Act Two). From this quote, we can tell that she is not pleased after hearing about his summer affair. My impression of her character here to the beginning of the play is that Mr Birling’ s daughter now knows life is not always how you expect it to be. There are some ups and down. In the beginning of the play, she was happy and excited. It was the best moment of her life, but when the Inspector came, everything changed. Now Sheila is more grown up than she was before. She now knows that everything does not go according to how you want it to be.
Sheila’s reaction remains the same to the Inspector. She is very co-operative with inspector Goole. When she is asked a question, she answers it. But unlike the other characters, they get annoyed with the Inspector’s questions. Her function in the play, in my opinion is to make the other characters confess the truth. When the Inspector asks questions, she warns them sometimes to stop acting so calm and confident nor should they feel that they could lie to the Inspector. She makes the other characters at times speak more than the Inspector.
For example, when Inspector Goole is questioning Gerald, Sheila asks more questions because she wants to no more details about Gerald’s summer affair. My impression of Mr and Mrs Birling’s daughter at the end of ‘Act Two’ is she is feeling sorry for her mother. She says to her mother. “Mother-I begged you and begged you to stop-” (Act Two). But she refused to listen to her and she became agitated. The mood and atmosphere is much more tense at this point of the play. Sheila and Gerald’s relationship might break up. Her relationship with her mother and father may also break up.
Also everyone wants to know if Eric is the father of Eva Smith’s child. They are all waiting for him to enter. The use of photograph also causes tension and suspense in the play. The Inspector shows the picture to one person at a time and the rest wants to see the photograph, so they cannot wait for their turn. They all want to see the picture so therefore this creates more tension and suspense in the drama. We the audience are waiting on tender hooks to see whether or not the individuals have any connection to Eva Smith.
As the involvement of each member of the family is progressively established, the structure becomes that of a ‘whodunnit’, with the Inspector apparently slowly unravelling the history of the twenty-four years old young woman. The audience’s interest is sustained not only by the progressive revelation, but their desire of who is responsible for driving the young working class woman to suicide. Ironically, when the Inspector leaves the Birling family to sort out their family problems, Sheila acts like a parent. She tells her parent about not facing their responsibility. Her reactions compared to Eric are the same.
She accepts her responsibility so does Eric. It tells us that the younger generation are willing to accept their responsibility more than the older generation. The ideas of responsibility and changes have developed through Sheila’s experiences. For example, we learn that when Sheila realises how much damage she has caused to Eva Smith, therefore she feels responsible and her attitudes and values changes. Through Sheila, we are able to learn the differences in the other characters and we sympathise with her and have hope for a better society through the younger generation of Sheila and Eric.