‘ An Inspector Calls’ JB Priestley Year 11 English Literature Exam Preparation Monday 5th November 2007
Learning Objectives: <ul><li>I will know what a ‘theme’ is within a book or play. </li></ul><ul><li>I will understand the theme of ‘class’ in Act One of the play, </li></ul><ul><li>‘ An Inspector Calls.’ </li></ul>
Themes Ideas that are discussed and developed within books and plays. Remember ‘Romeo and Juliet’! Key themes of ‘love’ and ‘hate.’ One important theme in ‘An Inspector Calls’ is that of social class. How do the middle and upper classes treat the working classes? This is one question the play asks.
Class system in 1912 <ul><li>Three tiers: </li></ul><ul><li>Upper Class – inherited wealth </li></ul><ul><li>Middle Class – acquired wealth through the owning of factories etc </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Class – also known as working or labouring classes </li></ul>
The Birlings are wealthy middle class landowners and proprietors of a large factory built up by the father of Mr Birling. He has hopes of gaining a knighthood which he sees as a way to climb the social ladder. The marriage of his daughter to a member of the aristocracy is playing its part in the families’ social climbing. However, the marriage is not approved of by Gerald’s mother, Lady Croft.
These pictures show typical housing for working class people. A middle class house.
Many people from the working classes worked long hours for low pay in large factories. Mr Birling makes his money from manufacturing.
J.B Priestley and Socialism ‘ An Inspector Calls’ was written and first performed in 1945. This was a time when some members of the audience would have lived through the horrors of two World Wars. Priestley was a socialist, which means he believed society should be equal and the gap between rich and poor should be closed.
Arthur Birling Gets It Wrong! 1912 Titanic, the ‘unsinkable’ ship sinks. Labour strikes of the lower classes get worse. 1914 Outbreak of War with Germany.