An Inspector Calls

Topics: World War II, World War I, Labour Party Pages: 5 (1694 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Section1:
Research who J.B Priestly was; make a list of notes summarising details about him, his beliefs and his writing.

About John Boynton Priestley:
John Boynton Priestley was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 13 September 1894. His father was a headmaster and his mother died when he was just two years old, leaving his father to remarry four years later. He grew up into a family and a wider group of friends who enjoyed the arts. As he grew up he was caught up in in-depth debates with his friends. His friends and family all discussed politics from a socialist point of view; this influenced his younger political life. It was for this reason that J.B Priestly adopted such a socialist viewpoint. J B Priestley was a socialist (left wing), but had trouble settling down to the policies of any one particular political party. His socialism can be said to be based on compassion and caring for others. Priestley was educated at Belle Vue Grammar School, which he left early to work as a junior clerk with a local wool firm at the age of 16. He spent his hard earned money on buying books, and used his spare time trying different kinds of writing, including a regular unpaid column in a local periodical, the Bradford Pioneer.

About John’s writing:
John wrote successful articles and essays, and then published the first of many novels, The Good Companions, in 1929 which earned him the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and made him a national figure. His next novel, Angel Pavement, further established him as a successful novelist. However, some critics were less than complimentary about his work. Much of his writing was ground-breaking and controversial. He included new ideas about possible parallel universes and strong political messages. His first publication was “Secrets of the Ragtime King” for London Opinion, then a series of articles, “Round the Hearth”, for Independent Labour Party publication, The Bradford Pioneer. In 1934 he published the travelogue English Journey, which was an account of what he saw and heard while travelling through the country in the autumn of the previous year. He moved into a new genre and became equally well known as a dramatist. Dangerous Corner was the first of a series of plays that enthralled West End theatre audiences. After the success with John’s first play he went on to write 50 more. His best-known play is An Inspector Calls in which he expresses his socialist ideas and beliefs. About John’s political views:

During the 1930's Priestley became very concerned about the consequences of social inequality in Britain. In 1942 Priestley and others set up a new political party, the Common Wealth Party, which argued for public ownership of land, greater democracy, and a new 'morality' in politics. The party merged with the Labour Party in 1945. He believed that further world wars could only be avoided through cooperation and mutual respect between countries, and so became active in the early movement for a United Nations.

Section 2:
Make notes on what was happening at the time of 1912 politically, socially and globally in England. Look at class systems/women/strikes/education.

Class system:
Social position was far more important in 1912 than it is today. People were expected to know their place in society and stick to it, moving from one section of the class system to another was greatly 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 strikes and the formation of trade unions to co-ordinate these actions.

Women:
Women at that time were seen as being delicate, fragile and obedient to their husbands or fathers. Domestic service was one of the commonest forms of employment for women - over a million women worked as servants at this time. Women were trying to get rights the same as men,...
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