In what ways will Priestley explore the theme of communal responsibility in “An Inspector Cell phone calls”?

In this essay I try to explore all the aspects of communal responsibility shown in “An Inspector Calls”. I am going to endeavour to do this by using dramatic devices portrayed throughout the play and their significance to the play; I will also discuss the success where Priestley conveys the theme of cultural responsibility.

Throughout the 1930’s Priestley became very alert to the communal inequality in Britain at that time and in 1942 he made a decision to form a political party with some like-minded fellow workers. The get together was called the normal Wealth Get together and it argued that Land ownership should get to the public which Britain should become more democratic in politics. In 1945 the normal Wealth Party was merged in to the Labour party, but Priestley was still very influential in the manner that the party was being run and helped develop the idea of a welfare condition which was carried out after the war. Priestley also made many BBC radio broadcasts to try and promote the thought of socialism within the Labour Party.

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Social responsibility is the most reviewed and possibly the most important facet of “An Inspector Calls”. Priestley’s communication seems to be: Do not only take care of yourself but also care for others and that people have to simply accept the consequences with their actions. Arthur Birling is a perfect example of this. “But take my phrase for this, you youngsters and I’ve learned in the nice hard university of experience – a man has to brain his own business and look after himself and his own. . . . . “.

In this price Arthur is pushing selfishness, being irresponsible and having no sociable responsibility, this is the opposite of everything that Priestley stands for as a socialist. Although this happens to work in Priestley’s favour throughout the course of the play as the Inspector, who seems to tone Priestley’s views as a socialist, frequently overturns Mr. Birling’s and more views forcing these to be noticed more habitually throughout the audience that may influence their ideas.

The Birling’s as a family group seem to have no social responsibility, specifically Arthur helps it be apparent that he does not have any social awareness; he illustrates no remorse when talking about Eva’s loss of life, or that of his manufacturing plant employees and the horrendous conditions they work in. In his conversation to Eric and Gerald prior to the introduction of the Inspector he offers some ‘assistance’ in which he lectures how he feels others should be cared for.

“. . . But the way many of these cranks converse and write now, you’d think every person has to look after everybody else as though we were all mixed up along like bees in a bee hive- community and everything that nonsense. ” Mr. Birling carries attributes such as arrogance, inconsideration, irresponsibility and lacks social awareness. The Inspector’s function in the play is to teach the Birling’s about collective responsibility, equality, union and thought of others. He achieves this by using various techniques such as a shock and awe method and forcing those to feel guilt for what they have done by encouraging these to empathise using their victims.

Priestley specifically place the play in 1912; this was because at this time society all together was completely different to how it was when Priestley composed the play (1945). The play has looked into the matter of social course and the restrictions that include it as well as the matter of gender with one gender being prominent above the other. Although in 1945 almost all of these limitations were gone. For instance, in 1912 it was considered compulsory for women to act dutifully to men. The goals on women were high and even women of aristocracy could do nothing but marry on, and for those who were created of less social class, it was an opportunity for cheap labour, much like the circumstance of Eva Smith. However by 1945, the results of war enabled women’s role in culture to grow considerably. Priestley liked to see these different situations as a chance and thought that his followers would start to see the potential as he performed. All the way through his play he constantly stimulates his audience to take hold of the opportunity that the finish of World Battle 2 has given them, to construct an excellent more socially in charge society.

When Priestley arranged the play in 1912 it offered him the opportunity to include referrals to major historical occasions including the HMS Titanic, World Battle 1 and mining attacks. This allowed Priestley to make the audience engaged and one step prior to the ignorant heroes.

At first glimpse the genre of the play: ‘An Inspector Calls’ seems to be a typical murder unknown. Although as the play expands, the genre seems to transform from a theme of ignorance to a ‘whodunit’ as the Inspector cross-examines his way through every single one in the Birling household. The Inspector handles to keep up control of the tempo and the tension by coping with each query singularly. The storyplot is revealed slowly and gradually, piece by piece.

The lighting takes on a substantial part in assigning the ambiance and atmosphere of the play. We start Action One with a information of the world, accompanied by an intro of the main characters. At this time we are informed “The light should be pink and intimate until the Inspector gets there, and then it should be brighter and harder. ” Priestley uses a red, warm theme of lighting to portray a feeling of quiet, success and self-satisfaction, in the end reflecting the individuals.

Dan Anahory