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Socialist and Capitalist Political Views

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Socialist and Capitalist Political Views

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  • Feb. 2013
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In this essay I will be exploring the ways in which JB Priestly presents and develops the tensions in Brumley in ‘An Inspector Calls’. I will be looking at a range of tensions including class, intergeneration, male vs. female and also dramatic techniques used by JB Priestly. An Inspector Calls was written after the Second World War. It is set in the spring of 1912 at the Brumley home of the Birling’s. In the play the central theme is responsibility. Priestley is interested in our personal responsibility for our own actions and our collective responsibility to society. Society was split into three classes at the time: Working class, Middle class and Upper class. The middle and upper class thought that the future looked pleasing and they were enjoying life. For working class women, a job was crucial, there was no social security at that time, so without a job they had no money. Women were not yet valued by society and had also not yet been awarded the right to vote. By setting the play in this period before the war but writing it after creates tension and irony throughout as the audience know what is to come. The question of the play is whether Eva Smith’s fate was mainly a result of the kind of society that existed in 1912 or simply a result of unchanging human nature. The play unfolds by the mysterious Inspector Goole slowly exposing how each character plays a role in death of Eva Smith It begins with the Inspector's entrance bringing a socialist message, interrupting the character who was speaking prior to his arrival, Arthur Birling, a capitalist who had been preaching the value of capitalist views such as "a man has to make his own way-has to look after himself’’ (pg9). However the events of the play show this to be unworkable. In fact the bell rings when Birling is in mid-sentence. It appears the Inspector deliberately timed his entrance to make it even clearer where his message is aimed. Drama is created because the Inspector on the other hand, believes...

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