An inspector calls revision


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  • Priestley took a degree in Modern History and Political Science at Cambridge University.
  • However, his programmes were cancelled by the British Government for being too critical of their actions in the war. Socialist views made him unpopular with the public but he insisted he was a patriotic socialist
  • Written post WW2 and set PRE ww1----allowed him luxury of hindsight and the benefit of dramatic irony/tension
  • He was very agst war bcs of own eprnces & socialist values
  • moving from one section of the class system to another was frowned upon by those in power. Workers were beginning to let it be known that they wanted to have a say in what happened to them and did so through to co-ordinate these actions. The bosses, These were mainly based on how much profit they could make and they rarely considered the welfare of the workers. Being of a higher class than the workers, believed that they knew best and should make decisions for the masses. Workers were beginning to let it be known that they wanted to have a say in what happened to them and did so through to co-ordinate these actions. The Inspector implies in his retort that the upper middle classes have stolen the earth. This fits in with the socialist view that the rich capitalists have wrongful ownership of 'the means of production' : through some strange historical twist they have acquired the factories and manufacturing plants that should be owned by the workers. 
  • Remember, he has also demonstrated how responsibility for one's actions and for others is a complex thing - no single person is solely responsible for Eva's death, but no one is absolved or let off the hook. Just because you aren't entirely responsible doesn't mean you can abdicate responsibility altogether.
  • in the middle and upper classes if you were female, but not if you were male (same 2day in manyrespects?). Double standard of morality, respectable women had to be chaste but respectable men did not, but sex was supposed to be only with working class girls, mainly through use of prostitutes and mistresses, as doing so with their own class would have been breaking the moral codes…as with Mr B…Unmarried mothers were frowned upon and in some cases treated as if they were mad and locked up This was due to fear of pregnancy outside of marriage as there was little contraception. Also moral code of the time where ladies were supposed to remain chaste and pure until they married. According to a d and could find it hard to refuse sex to a man as it was these men who held social and economic power. Many of these women became pregnant and had no resources to care for themselves or their children.
  • Father was head of the family and his word was law within the family. Mothers had some influence in areas, but were less direct in doing so. Children, even when older and in adulthood were expected to completely obey parents.
  • The ideal was for those pinched at the waist - slim. , husband and wife were regarded as one, with the woman the "possession" of the man. As such, a woman had no legal control over her person, her own land and money, or her children. Daisy/Eva - a working class girl, possibly an orphan, who has to work for a living and is seen to be completely at the mercy ofmen. follows this path by not working, the only occupation mentioned which she does is shopping.
  • Only 20….Infantry was grim
  • An inspector calls revision

    1. 1. An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley <ul><li> </li></ul>
    2. 2. Who was J B Priestley? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>13 th September 1894 - 14 th August 1984. </li></ul><ul><li>Mother died in they year he was born. </li></ul><ul><li>Left school at 16 ‘to write’ and began work in 1910 as a junior clerk at a wool firm. </li></ul><ul><li>1914 – 19 joined the Army. </li></ul><ul><li>Priestley joined the infantry at age 20. </li></ul><ul><li>He narrowly escaped being killed when a German shell exploded near him and was the victim of a gas attack. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1921 he completed his degree, married and left for London with his wife. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Socialist principles <ul><li>“ The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Socialist party of Great Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>He found himself having political discussions with his father’s socialist friends. </li></ul>
    4. 4. His work <ul><li>1939, Priestley continued writing and worked for BBC radio. </li></ul><ul><li>Patriotic socialist </li></ul><ul><li>The play, An Inspector Calls was written in 1945. It opened in 1946 to a war – weary </li></ul><ul><li>audience </li></ul>
    5. 5. The play itself was written in 1945 <ul><li> </li></ul>A straightforward detective thriller……....or is it?
    6. 6. In his own words: Priestley stated that it was the period 1911-1914 that ‘set their stamp upon me’ His experiences in the war affected his writing; “I was lucky in that war and never ceased to be aware of the fact.” I surrounded myself with ‘ people who read a great deal, cared a lot for the arts and preferred real talk and hot argument to social chit chat’.
    7. 7. How much consideration should be given to the social historical context when reading ‘An Inspector Calls’?
    8. 8. HISTORICAL EVENTS OF THE TIME <ul><li>S et in 1912, an understanding of the social historical context </li></ul><ul><li>is essential if the audience are to fully engage with the events </li></ul><ul><li>Sailing of the Titanic (imminent departure mentioned in the play) </li></ul><ul><li>Captain Scott and his expedition failed to reach the South Pole. </li></ul><ul><li>The Suffragette movement campaigning for women's rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Coal miners and others on strike for better pay and conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Some unrest in Russia beginning, mentioned in the play. </li></ul><ul><li>Trade unions beginning to gain some power in society. </li></ul><ul><li>Advances of technology: electric lighting in homes & cinema (mass media). </li></ul><ul><li>Motor cars developing, but only owned by those who were rich enough to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>No help from the state for poor. No DHSS or NHS & life expectancy about 46 years </li></ul>
    9. 9. ..
    10. 10. Key themes: <ul><li>Capital versus labour or class conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Social or individual responsibility? </li></ul><ul><li>Sex </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul><ul><li>Guilt or denial </li></ul><ul><li>Role of women </li></ul>
    11. 11. Class Conflict or Capital versus labour <ul><li>People were expected to know their place in society and stick to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Strikes and the formation of trade unions </li></ul><ul><li>Factory owners expected to have complete control </li></ul><ul><li>Profit often won over the workers’ welfare </li></ul><ul><li>Birling represents capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>Eva symbolises the working class </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict evident through dialogue: </li></ul><ul><li>Birling: Rubbish! If you don't come down sharply on some of these people, they'd soon be asking for the earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Gerald: I should say so! </li></ul><ul><li>Inspector: They might. But after all it's better to ask for the earth than take it. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Eva’s lack of voice means that the Inspector must continually remind us of her: <ul><li>Inspector: There are a lot of young women living that sort of existence in every city and big town in this country, Miss Birling. If there weren't the factories and warehouses wouldn't know where to look for cheap labour. Ask your father. </li></ul><ul><li>Sheila: But these girls aren't cheap labour - they're people . </li></ul>
    13. 13. Social versus individual responsibility <ul><li>Central theme: in the play: at the root of the left-wing social vision underpinning the play.   </li></ul><ul><li>Inspector is the champion of the socialist values and this 'nonsense' concept of community. </li></ul><ul><li>Inspector has come to teach us a lesson.  </li></ul><ul><li>Didactic message for audiences of all eras </li></ul><ul><li>Final warning: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ But just remember this. One Eva Smith is gone - but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives and what we think and say and do. We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for one another. And I tell you the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night’ </li></ul>
    14. 14. Let’s talk about….. sex <ul><li>Pre-marital sex was frowned upon </li></ul><ul><li>Double standards were heavily at play </li></ul><ul><li>Upper class men could not fall in love and marry lower class women </li></ul><ul><li>Lower class women didn't hold the same status. </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage had to be within your class, or higher. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Time <ul><li>Time play and uses the 3 unities of classical Greek drama: </li></ul><ul><li>Unity of place 1 setting used </li></ul><ul><li>Unity of time – stage &real time are = </li></ul><ul><li>Unity of action – 1 main plot </li></ul><ul><li>Inspector acts very much like the chorus – also Priestley’s mouthpiece </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits? He is able to remind the audience of their faults through those of the characters. DIDACTIC ELEMENT </li></ul>
    16. 16. Family. <ul><li>Society was undoubtedly patriachal </li></ul><ul><li>Homes were ruled by men </li></ul><ul><li>Children were treated as such well into their 20’s </li></ul>
    17. 17. Guilt or denial: how do the characters deal with their actions? <ul><li>By Act Three, when the Inspector finally leaves, Birling is only concerned about a public scandal, but Eric and Sheila have learned from the Inspector, regardless of whether or not he was a real inspector. </li></ul><ul><li>Eric and Sheila cannot see how their parents are still unmoved, and only concerned in disproving the authenticity of Inspector Goole's identity. Sheila appeals: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;but don't you see, if all that's come out tonight is true, then it doesn't much matter who it was that made usconfess&quot;. A bit further on her brother reiterates this: </li></ul><ul><li>  &quot;And I say the girl's dead and we all helped kill her - and that's what matters.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The implication is that the characters who have allowed themselves to feel their guilt have become human, and have developed morally. They have become sensitised to the plight of others less fortunate, and have taken more responsibility for the social world in which they live.  </li></ul>
    18. 18. How are women portrayed in the play? <ul><li>Viewed as delicate, fragile and obedient to their husbands or fathers. </li></ul><ul><li>Women were trying to get rights the same as men, beginning the Suffrage movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Roman laws influenced British law </li></ul><ul><li>Women of higher classes did not work, but did charitable work. This was seen as acceptable as it was a caring role that fitted with the idealised Victorian view. </li></ul><ul><li>Sheila, Mrs Birling and Eva fit with these expectations </li></ul>
    19. 19.   What is clock face planning? 6 point planning allows you to organise your response quickly and logically.
    20. 20. Every essay must have a clear introduction and a forceful conclusion which avoid ‘horror statements’.
    21. 21. <ul><li>Why bother? Clarity of thought. Allows the examiner to follow your argument should you not finish. Builds scope in for the development of a logical argument to develop. </li></ul>
    22. 22. To what extent is it possible to feel sympathy for Eric? In A1 Mr Birling describes himself as a ‘hard-headed practical man of business’. How far do you agree with this statement? Refer closely to his words and actions.
    23. 23. 4.His relationship with Eva Smith reveals him to be dishonourable, dishonest and “a drunken, young idler”. 5. However, by Act 3 greater sympathy is felt as he begins to take responsibility for his own actions. The audience is left with hope that his mistakes will not be repeated in the future.   6. In conclusion…  
    24. 24. Six Point Plan   1. It is essential to remember that this character does not appear at all in Act 2.   2. Our first impressions are of a “squiffy”, silly, immature young man with few social graces.   3. Outwardly, the signs of status reveal a great deal about upbringing and can be linked to SHC.  
    25. 25. Other past questions:
    26. 26. In what ways does Eva Smith’s life as revealed by the Inspector, make us aware of the attitudes of people at the time the play was set?
    27. 27. The play examines ‘an arrogant and confident populace on the brink of disaster’. How does this reflect the social, historical, context?  
    28. 28.   ‘ An Inspector Calls’ is a play about the evils of capitalism. Discuss with close reference to the play.
    29. 29. The play has elements of a “whodunnit” since the girl’s story is gradually revealed through the Inspector’s careful questioning of the suspects . Discuss the extent to which this is true.
    30. 30. ‘ An Inspector Calls’ is a play about man’s inhumanity to man. Discuss with close reference to the play.  
    31. 31. Useful revision sites: