Priestley wrote ‘An Inspector Calls’ in 1945 but it was story set 1912.
In ‘An Inspector Calls’, Priestley presents the theme of social responsibility by introduce a wealthy family in 1912. Social responsibility is people who want to help other people because they are being aware of what effect your actions have on people. He presents it by writing about the Birling family who are upper class, wealthy, selfish and hot-headed.
He writes inspector Goole as himself to represent his feeling about social responsibility. Inspector Goole comes to the Birling’s family and asks some questions about a girl’s suicide. This story shows how each action of the Birling family had an affect on the character Eva. Also the differences between the rich and poor, and their social responsibility. The social responsibility is shown in the play through different characters such as Sheila Birling, Eric Birling, Gerald Croft and inspector Goole. Priestley presents some social responsibility through Sheila that she wants to protect the girl in lower class, shown in this quotation “but these girls aren’t cheap labour – they’re people.” This shows that Sheila doesn’t compare anyone as nonhuman, she thinks that all people are the same as she no matter what their classes.
Sheila used the word ‘people’ that Sheila wants to show her family that Eva isn’t a dog or a cat that we can ignore this easily because Eva is a human. Furthermore, after she knew that she was done something wrong she regretted it. In the quote that Sheila said bitterly “I know. I had her turned out of a job.
I started it.” Sheila wanted to say that she thinks she had started it but the truth was she didn’t start it. In the sentence ‘I started it’ means what happened to Eva is because of Sheila, because she caused Eva to meet Gerald and Eric. If she had not met them she would have had a better life. In the past history, customers who are coming to the shop, they will be respect their customer as a god, therefore the shops need to make their customers like their shop. So if their customers dislike something they need to fix the problem.
It was just liked Sheila case that she dislikes Eva Smith so she tells the manager of the shop to dismiss her. This links to the theme of social responsibility because Sheila is a capitalist lifestyle because we can see that she is in upper class but she has a personality to help others.Priestley shows Gerald Croft has a little of social responsibility. This is shown in the following quote that Mr.
Croft said “I made the people at the Country find some food for her.” He help Eva who didn’t have money left with his warm-hearted. In the word “made”, it makes us feel that Gerald uses his power to do something. In addition, Gerald said “I insisted on Daisy moving into those rooms and I made her take some money.” Eva was homeless so Gerald gave her a room to live and money to survive. Mr.
Croft used the word “made”, it seems to be like he forces Eva to receive money. Priestley writes this scene linked to the roles of women because Eva look like she is under control of Gerald. In the scene that Gerald broke his relationship with Eva and abandoned her, but she can’t disagree with this because she is a woman.
Gerald makes us feel that he is a good man by being gentle and warm- hearted, but sometimes he’s also bad by leaving Eva with coldness. Most of all he is a capitalist because Priestley writes that Gerald gives the thing that is necessary to Eva with a warm-hearted and pity because it’s his benefits.The writer also presents social responsibility through Eric. It shows in the quotation Eric said “so I insisted on giving her enough money to keep her going… I got it – from the office.” This shows that Eric didn’t steal the money for himself, but he took it for Eva because he felt that he needed to do something useful for her.
Eric used the sentence “to keep her going” because he wanted to respond what he had done so he gave Eva money to continuing living well. Furthermore, Eric shows his social responsibility by saying “I don’t see much nonsense about it when a girl goes and kills herself. You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely, but I can’t. Nor can mother. We did her in all right.” Eric saw that Eva’s death was very important while Gerald and mr.
Birling thought about a trick and he wanted everyone to feel that we need to respond with the girl committed suicide. The people who are stolen the money, it called criminal. Eric stole the money, so he was a criminal, but Priestley wrote that Eric didn’t steal the money because he got it from mr.Birling’s factory.
Priestley can make the audiences feel that Eric can do the bad thing for respond and apologize to Eva. This also shows that Eric was socialist and had social responsibility because he does the thing that is dangerous. Lastly, Priestley writes the part of most social responsibility throughout inspector Goole by judging the Birlings.
In the quotation that shows “there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us” Inspector wants to say that there are people like Eva waiting that the Birlings can help. The writer uses alliteration with “million” to underline that they are too many kind of people that same as Eva Smith. Another example of this, inspector Goole said “we don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.” He teaches the Birling’s family that we are all human and we are the same as each other, so we need to help each other.
In the phase “member of one body”, it means we have the same thing like each other like same specie. This can connect n that time, there was inequality between upper class and lower class. That makes we think inspector Goole is Priestley’s opinion that he wants to teach everyone to know what they are doing right or wrong. This is shown that inspector Goole is the most socialist because ha makes Birlings know what they are wrong.
In my conclusion, Priestley writes a social responsibility is important. He writes that Birling’s family are social responsibilities, some are less and some are more. He writes that Sheila is showing her idea that she has feeling that want to protect someone, but she doesn’t know how to act it. Eric shows it by stealing money for someone because he does something wrong. Gerald shows his social responsibility by giving kindness heart to Eva, but it is benefit for himself.
Personality, I think that inspector Goole is the most social responsibility because he teaches people who have done the bad thing to change themselves to be better.