How Successful Is the Character of the Inspector in Portraying Priestley's Message

Topics: Social class, An Inspector Calls, Working class Pages: 3 (1043 words) Published: March 6, 2013
How successful is the character of the Inspector in conveying Priestley’s message?

The character of the inspector is successful in conveying Priestley’s moral message in which we are each to take into account of our responsibilities for our own actions and that we should also take responsibility for each other.  The inspector gets this point across by creating sympathy and admiration for Eva Smith by the way he uses her to represent her social class and the way that he creates sympathy for that class in general. He also forces the Birlings to admit their guilt and responsibilities.         In the play, the final words of the inspector indicate clearly Priestley’s message. The purpose of this speech is to leave the Birlings with an overwhelming feeling of guilt, so they realise what they have done and learn from their mistakes before another tragedy like this occurs again. He says that everybody is “responsible for each other” and that the “millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths” all count as people.  This is Priestley’s social message to the audience and to the Birlings.  The Inspector tells the Birlings that if man will not learn this lesson “then they will be taught in fire, blood and anguish”          By contrast, Mr Birling makes a speech, just before the inspector arrives, at the beginning of the play that totally contradicts that of Inspector Goole’s near the end, showing two very different philosophies of life.  Arthur Birling believes that a man has to “mind his own business” and he was only to look after himself, his family and no one else “community and all that nonsense” There is a lot of sympathy created for the working class in the play.  Sheila and Eric do not agree with the pay the working class receive and the way they are treated.  When Birling refused them a pay rise, he told them “It’s a free country” Eric replies and says “It isn’t if you can’t go and work somewhere else” This shows that Eric is more in touch with...
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