Answers to questions in this part should refer to the text and to such relevant features as characterisation, key scene(s), structure, climax, theme, plot, conflict, setting . . .
Choose a play which explores an issue or theme which interests you.
By referring to appropriate techniques, explain how this issue or theme is explored.
- “An Inspector Calls”; J.B. Priestley; 1945
- A girl has committed suicide because of the actions of a wealthy family.
- Explore theme of social responsibility, and how it connects to every member of the family.
- Refuses to pay his workers a better wage.
- “If you don’t come down hard on these people they’ll soon be asking for the earth.”
- He fires her for making a modest request.
- “Cranks and socialists.”
- Refuses to give Eva Smith charity when she most needed it.
- Insists that the father of her child should be punished – not understanding that her own son is the guilty man.
Eric and Sheila
- Contrast with their parents – they accept that their actions have had consequences.
- Sheila is devastated to hear that she had a hand in Eva Smith’s death.
- Eric accepts his guilt in her death.
- Represents all people in society – her fate could happen to any of us.
- She is a vehicle for Priestley’s message – everyone in society must look after each other.
- Each character responds differently to the idea of social responsibility.
- Some accept they must help others, some do not.
- The audience is left in no doubt about how J.B. Priestley thinks we should behave towards each other.