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Explore Priestley's Dramatic Methods In Act 3 Pages 50 – 56 Demonstrating How An Understanding Of The Historical And Social Context Of The Play Might Help Shape The Audience Response To This Scene And The Play As A Whole

1054 words - 5 pages

Explore Priestley’s dramatic methods in Act 3 pages 50 – 56 demonstrating how an understanding of the historical and social context of the play might help shape the audience response to this scene and the play as a whole.

Throughout An Inspector Calls, Priestley uses the Inspector as a way of warning the audience to address many problems that are occurring, or have occurred in society. The fact that the play is set in 1912, and written in 1945, shows how Priestly trying to show the audience how some events could have been prevented. In 1945, the Second World War had recently ended, with 55 million people left dead. This would allow the audience to relate to the situation in the play. As a ...view middle of the document...

Although Eric understands he is not perfect, he understands his mistakes, just like when he realises he was ‘in that state when a chap easily turns nasty’. In addition to this, Eric later mentions that he is ‘ashamed’ of his parents. Again, this strengthens the idea that Eric has switched places with his parents and is now speaking to them as if they were children. All in all, this idea shows how Priestly is suggesting that anyone in the audience can change however naive they initially were. This idea suggests that Priestly is trying to show how future problems can be prevented.
Eva Smith’s lifestyle and death strongly contrast with the wealth and power that the Birling’s possess. Although Eva and the Birlings lived geographically close, socially and financially they were extremely different. Immediately, Birling is shown to ask his maid for ‘port’, a drink only drunk by the wealthy. However, Priestly begins to suggest that Birling wasn’t always as upper class. Birling asks his maid to ‘thank the cook’, and is soon corrected by his wife that he is ‘not supposed to say such things’. This suggests that Birling wasn’t always as sophisticated as he is now. In some respects, this makes his inability to help Eva even worse, as although he was never in that same position as her, he knows how he managed to gain a better life. Therefore, Priestly is suggesting he should be inclined to give back to society and help those in need. This is the point that Priestly is trying to make, by saying that people should be grateful for what they have and should help others who are in need of care.
Throughout An Inspector Calls, upper class women are quite clearly protected by the men within the play. There is a definite contrast between the way upper class women and working class women are treated. When Birling wanted to talk ‘seriously’, he made the women of the house leave the room, so to not get them involved with business or with something he didn’t feel was necessary. This shows how women were...

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