Q: Analyse how at least ONE setting helped develop animportant theme. The essay has a clear and basicIn the drama An Inspector Calls, by J.B. Priestley, introduction.one of the settings is upper class England. This The candidatesetting effectively develops the central theme in has identified the socialthe play of responsibility. The setting conveys this setting andtheme as it shows how people in this social has linkedsetting ignore responsibility, the results that a it to the major theme.lack of responsibility can have, and also how the However, thepeople in this setting are blind to the candidateconsequences. hasn’t identified how yet
One of the ways in which the social setting in An Inspector The candidateCalls shows the theme responsibility is the way people in this has used thesocial setting ignore responsibility. The characters in this play charactersvalue social status much more highly than responsibility. This as a vehicleaspect is conveyed in the play through the characters, to discussparticularly Mr. Birling. Mr. Birling is a proud man who is setting,always striving to move higher up on the social ladder. When shows clearhe is being partially blames for a girl’s suicide, he exclaims: understanding of the purpose of characterisation, and weaves quotes in with ease (next slide)
“There is a big difference between a lot of these The candidatethings coming out in private and a downright has teasedpublic scandal!” This quote puts to the reader that the example out and clearlyMr. Birling is not concerned at all about the poor explained itsgirl who is dead, but only about what it would do purpose into his social status if it were to come out in public. furthering the thesis. TheMr. Birling has completely missed the lesson to be candidate haslearned and does not show any signs of guilt or made a clearremorse. He is portrayed to the reader as and concise point and hascorrupted, reinforcing the writer’s intended shown antheme of responsibility as the reader can see understandingwhat is more important. of the writer’s purpose
The upper class social setting in this play also Thedevelops the theme of responsibility through candidate hasdisplaying the results the lack of responsibility of identifiedcharacters in the upper class have had on the lower an upperclass. In the play, it is found that a combination of class socialignoring responsibility from each member of the setting butBirling family has resulted in the suicide of a young could havegirl, Eva Smith. In an effort to get the message that gone a little furtheractions have consequences, through to the Birlings, to showhe continuously refers to Eva’s death in graphic that this isdetails as he says, “Now a girl is dead, with her the case.inside burned out, lying on a slab.” The continuousreference to the horrific results cause the reader to Studentrealise the importance of responsibility as they recognises author’sunderstand what can happen if responsibility is purpose ofignored. language to support theme.
Another way in which the theme of responsibility is The candidatedeveloped through the upper class setting is the idea that has repeatedthe characters in this setting are blind to the results. Most the idea of responsibilityof the characters progress through the story without any but hasn’tsigns of remorse for their actions. Inspector Goode spells really goneit out for the family when he says: “we do live alone. We into enoughare all part of one body. We are responsible for each other. depth here.And the time will come soon when, if men will not learn The candidatethis lesson it will be taught to them in fire and blood and has statedanguish.” In this statement the Inspector is referring to war the socialin the last sentence. No attempts to shock the family into setting, but itrealisation that one day their lack of responsibility will not would have been better toonly affect them, but other people too. The blindness of explore it bythe people in this social setting makes the reader open unpacking ittheir eyes to the responsibility they have in the world. further. Clear sentence startersThe candidate has reinforced characterisation as a means to signpost theshow setting and its relationship with theme. The candidate Argument.has used a long quotation, but it’s fitting and it works.
The author’s main purpose in using setting todevelop the responsibility theme is to show The essayhow bad the upper class environment is with gives us a sense ofthe lack of responsibility. The negative light in the author’swhich the Birling family are shown cause the craft. Thereader to think “am I like the Birling family?” candidateJ.B. Priestley wants to convey his view, that has shownresponsibility is hugely important to society some personaland he also wants the audience to change under-their views. Seeing the effect that responsibility standinghad in the story definitely made me, as a and hasreader, rethink my actions. It caused me to addressedthink more about being responsible before I act the “how” and the “why.”and also what I value in life.
The use of the upper class setting to convey responsibility in “AnInspector Calls” was extremely effective. It caused the reader tothink about their actions through the results in the play and whatthe message in the play means to their lives. J.B. Priestley conveyedhis message effectively and accurately.NZQA’s Overall Comment: This is a “workmanlike” Merit. It is repetitive, but thereis enough there. Ultimately, there is evidence of good analysis. The candidate hasgiven good examples with a commanding analytical voice. The candidate hasdemonstrated an understanding of the purpose of characterisation and has placedthe reader in the argument.