‘An wanted to show the audience that Mr.Birling

‘An Inspector Calls’ was written by J.B. Priestley.  The play was written in 1945 and it was set in 1912, 2 years before the WW1 start. The play was first performed in 1945 in the Soviet Union and in 1946 in the UK.  In 1912 there was strong class distinctions between the upper class and the lower class. Women were subservient to men, the upper-class women need to be married and the lower-class women was seen as cheap labour. In 1945, during the ending of WW2, it was a time when there was big change of social in Britain. Class distinctions had been greatly reduced, women had earned a more valued place in society. Priestley set the play in 1912 to give the audience an understanding of the society at the past time when all was very different from the time he was writing, he wanted to share most of these changes through this play. Priestley wants to shows the theme of society, social responsibility, class inequality and gender roles in 1912 through ‘An Inspector Calls’ play. The play is about a young working-class woman called Eva Smith, she commits suicide herself after passing her difficult life.  Each member of the Birling family including Gerald have a part in Eva Smith’s death, each characters was responsible for her death in a different way. Mr.Arthur Birling, a capitalist and injudicious character, Priestley used this character to represent how the upper-class treated other people below them in society. Mr.Birling was the upper-class man, he was the head of the Birling household and a wealthy man who owned a factory business by being ‘hard-headed’ businessman. Priestley shows Mr.Birling’s capitalist thinking in the following quote ” We were paying usual rates and if they didn’t like those rates, they could go and work somewhere else, it’s a free country, I told them.” Priestley wanted to show the audience that Mr.Birling was completely a selfish person, he cares only his profit and business, he doesn’t care the other people’s lives and their situation that they were faced on, he thinks that the profit of  business are more important than the worker’s rights . The word ‘free country’ might be for only the upper-class people that have power and reputation but it’s not free for the lower-class people who have no money, power and reputation to live a good lives. Another example that Priestley shows that Mr.Birling was a selfish man, ” If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward.” Priestley shows the upper-class views toward society that Mr.Birling is refusing to take responsibility for other people in society, he believes that people have no responsible for others. The word ‘awkward’ clearly shows that he have no responsibility to the society, he thinks that having responsibility is too hard to do. The audience might feel shocked from what he said because he  doesn’t feels ashamed for his capitalist thinking. Priestley using Mr.Birling as a capitalism to show the social class issue at that time, the rich people were able to live in an luxury lives, most of them do not work at all, lots of money, power and reputation. But the poor people had tough lives, they worked for survival, lower-class women got less pay than lower-class men. Priestley’s words could also suggest that Mr.Birling don’t understand how tough it is for the poor working-class life to find a new job for example, Eva Smith. This links to theme of social responsibility, from Mr.Birling’s actions it shows that at that time most of the upper-class people were selfish. He refused to admit that he was part of Eva’ death, he thinks that fire Eva doesn’t be a part of her death and his business is more important than responsibility.Priestley represent Sheila Birling as a upper-class woman, he used this character to represent that the younger generation can change their personality and their views through their mistakes. Sheila is a pretty young woman in the early twenties, she is very attractive and she still has lots of power since she is Mr.Birling’s daughter.After her actions toward Eva Smith, she then accept her behavior to the Inspector. This can be shown in the quote “I behaved badly too, I know I did, I am ashamed of it.” Sheila knows that her action in Milwards was wrong, she then takes responsibility for her actions toward Eva Smith. The word ‘ashamed’ shows that she is feeling embarrassed by feeling of guilt from her actions. Sheila also shows her socialist views from the quote “It frightens me the way you talk” Priestley shows that Sheila have learn her mistake and change her views toward society. Sheila became stronger to against her family views, she couldn’t understand why her family don’t learn from their mistakes. The word ‘frighten’ shows that she become more social responsibility person, the way her family thinks toward others scare her. Priestley wanted the audience to feel that they still had a hope from the younger generation that could change the society in the future by taking responsibility for each other. From her actions in Milwards shop, it’s shows that at that time the upper-class women don’t work, they need to marry with a wealthy person to be rich and they use her family or husband’s wealth to society, the lower-class women needed to worked 11 to 12 hours per day for their survival. The way that Sheila tells the truth to the Inspector could also suggest that she is caring of her image and reputation, by pretend to look like she’s feelings guilty to the Inspector. Sheila is the quickest character that learns the lesson from the Inspector, which links to the theme of social responsibility. Priestley doesn’t want the society to be like in 1912 that have a strong social inequality. By using this character to show that the younger generation can learn their lesson from their mistake and change their behavior that could be a hope that change the society to be equally in the future. Priestley represented Gerald Croft as the selfish attitudes of the upper-class, he usd this character to show the gender issues in 1912 and Capitalist views on social responsibility . Gerald is the son of the Croft family, he is a wealthy businessman who worked at his father’s company. Gerald shown his selfishness by says that “I insisted on a parting gift of enough money – though it wasn’t so very much – to see her through to the end of the year.” Priestley shown how capitalist thinks toward women and how they takes responsibility by Gerald action, he ended his relationship with Eva Smith or Daisy Renton by gived her some money to left him, she is now become an homeless woman. He kept her as a mistress for his own pleasure and left her when it suited him. The word ‘gift’ for the capitalist way is shows that he is forcing her to end the relationship and makes her go away. Gerald also shows his Capitalist thinking by says that “I don’t come into this suicide business” it’s clearly shows that he have no social responsibility to other peoples, he believes that he’s not involved for Eva Smith’s death. The words ‘I don’t come’ shows he believes that he can hide his involvement to Eva.  At first the audience might feels that Gerald was also a good person because he have made Eva Smith happy for a time and he helped her a lot, but from his actions afterward it makes the audience shock because it’s clearly shows that the way he thinks of a women is just for his pleasure. Priestley wanted to shown that men views on women is selfish, men in that time believe that they’re allowed to sleep around before they marriage and doesn’t takes responsibility to the women which shows the gender issues in that time. Priestley’s word also could suggested that Gerald is understand how hard it was for the lower-class women like Eva to find a job and a place to live, he left her for feelings guilty to Sheila that he stay out from her to stay with Eva for a long period of time. From his actions it’s clearly links to the theme of social responsibility, he doesn’t takes any responsibility to Eva’s death by refused that his actions does not in a part of her death.Inspector Goole, an mystery police inspector who Priestley using to represent himself on moral view. Before the Inspector  leaves Birling house he said that ” We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.” This clearly from Priestley’s opinion toward society, using this character to teach a lesson to the Birling family that how  people should take responsibility for each other to make a better society. The word ‘responsible’ for Priestley himself means a better future that people are treated equally and take responsible for every action of themself. Priestley wanted to show the audience that a working-class man like Inspector show better moral than the upper-class people like the Birling family. Most of the upper-class people were not taking responsibility from their actions, they use power and wealth to covered it up for their reputation and their image. It also could suggest that the Inspector hinted the Birling family that they still have a chance to make the society become better by taking responsibility toward each of their actions for Eva Smith’s death. From Priestley’s word it’s link to the theme of social responsibility, by telling that the society will become worse if people don’t take responsibility for each other but if we take care of each other and take responsibility the society will become better, people will treated equally.Overall, Priestley presented the theme of social responsibility through each family members including Gerald for having part in Eva Smith’s death. Each of them doesn’t took responsibility for their actions  that cause Eva Smith commits suicide. Priestley shows that the upper-class people are having limited sense of social responsibility. He believes that people should learn from their mistakes and change their behavior to make a better society, Priestley also believes that a young generation could learn their lesson and change easier than the old generation, for example Sheila. He doesn’t want the society to be like in 1912, that people were selfish and think that business is important than people’s lives. In my opinion, if people don’t takes responsibility for each other , it’s still the same like in the past 1912, the World will becomes a terrible place that each of them are doing for their benefits. If people are taking responsibility for each other and cares other people the society will becomes better and better, the World will become a beautiful place.