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Recommended Read – An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly

Written by Emma Walsh, 26th July 2016

Another Recommended Read from one of our work experience Readers. This week Jacob delves into an English classic, An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly. Be wary of spoilers!

An Inspector Calls is a play written by dramatist J.B Priestly, one of his best known work for the stage, and is considered to be one of the classics of the mid-20th century English theatre.

Arthur Birling, a prosperous manufacturer in the early years of this century, is holding a family dinner to celebrate his daughter’s engagement. Into the cosy scene intrudes the harsh figure of a police inspector investigating the suicide of a young working- class woman. Under the pressure of his interrogation, every member of the family turns out to have a shameful secret which links them with her death.

As their secrets are unveiled the true arrogance of the mother and the father are exposed. The mother, who refused to take any responsibility after denying the girl support from her charity which eventually led to her ending her life, continuously justified her actions. The father however, seemed to be very interested in all sides of the story eventually, after his frustration of the inspector intruding their home. He admitted his wrong but also, as so did the mother, continue to address that it could not have influenced the girl’s death.

Sheila (daughter) and Eric (son) both understood that they both contributed to the girl’s death and both regretted their doings. Eric being a young, spoilt alcoholic changed personality throughout the play and seemed to almost mature. His sister Sheila was understanding throughout the whole play and without doubt was the most reasonable character.

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707.pngAn Inspector Calls is a gripping and suspense filled read, filled with mystery and drama throughout. My guess is that the writer was trying to give the reader a message to always think about what you’re doing and the effects that it could have on other people, not just yourself. But you might think differently. I would highly recommend this to anyone over thirteen and anyone who likes a mind boggling cliff hanger.

We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.” - JB Priestly, An Inspector Calls

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