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Monday 4 th January. An Inspector Calls S.C.: I can identify the gaps in my knowledge of the text We can show Mrs McAuliffe what we need to learn to become experts!. ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B.Priestley. In pairs, summarise the story into a short paragraph.

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Monday 4 th January

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Monday 4 th january

Monday 4th January

An Inspector Calls

S.C.:

  • I can identify the gaps in my knowledge of the text

  • We can show Mrs McAuliffe what we need to learn to become experts!


An inspector calls by j b priestley

‘An Inspector Calls’by J.B.Priestley

  • In pairs, summarise the story into a short paragraph.

  • Next, reduce this to 5-10 bullet points

  • Can you reduce it further without losing the storyline?


Setting

When was the play written?

What year and time of day was the play set?

What was significant about the Social Class System during this period?

Where do each of the 3 acts of the play take place?

Where do the Birlings live in?

How does the play begin?

Why is the fact that they live in an ‘industrial city’ important?

Written in 1947.

Set during an evening in Spring in 1912.

In 1912, the Social Class System was still very strong, i.e. there was a clear division between the rich and the poor.

All 3 acts are continuous and take place in the Birlings’ sitting room.

The area is Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands.

At the start of the play, the prosperous factory owner Mr Birling and his wife Mrs Birling are holding a dinner party to celebrate the engagement of their daughter Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft. Their celebrations are cut short when an Inspector Goole comes round to question them about the suicide of a young woman named Eva Smith. One by one every person present is analysed and forced to uncover their role played in Eva's death.

Setting


Context

Context

“Many of his (Priestley’s) works have a socialist aspect. For example, An Inspector Calls, as well as being a "Time Play", contains many references to socialism — the inspector was arguably an alter ego through which Priestley could express his views.”


Context1

Context

  • What is socialism?

    Socialism is about trying to give everybody the opportunity to equal access to resources, not just the rich.

    It means that society is not just owned by the rich. It attempts to break down the social class system and create a more fair scheme.

  • What is a ‘time play’?

    The 'Time Plays' are a series of dramas written by British author J. B. Priestley written during the 1930s and 40s. They are so called because each plays with a different concept of time. In each play an alternative theory of time becomes the central metaphor or theatrical device of the play, the characters' lives being affected by how they react to the unusual temporal landscape they encounter.

    The Time Plays cover a number of plays by Priestley, most famously, An Inspector Calls in which a family undergo a police investigation into a suicide which they later discover has not happened yet.


Priestley s views

Priestley’s Views

  • During the 1930's Priestley became very concerned about the consequences of social inequality in Britain, and 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, but Priestley was influential in developing the idea of the Welfare State which began to be put into place at the end of the war.

  • 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. And as the nuclear arms race between West and East began in the 1950s, he helped to found CND, hoping that Britain would set an example to the world by a moral act of nuclear disarmament.


How to use context cleverly

How to use context cleverly:

  • A popular essay/exam question, is ‘Who is to blame for the death of Eva Smith?’

  • Could it be the lack of socialism and strong divide between social classes that is to blame for the death of Eva Smith?


Exam questions

Exam questions

  • Usually thematic, character based or scene specific.

  • What the main themes of ‘An Inspector Calls’?


Themes

Responsibility

Personal

Collective

Class

Sex (male/female)

Age

Themes


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