Another part of the social and political climate he uses to demonstrate his political views is through the play is the class system. Priestley being a socialist himself would have hated the class system just as the socialists in 1912 did, this is a reoccurring theme throughout the play. The class system in 1944 was different in some respects to the one of 1912; these differences were the introduction of middle class, instead of having two classes; the upper and working class. In the play the Birling’s played an average upper class family in the 1900’s. They lived in a comfortable lifestyle unaffected and unaware what was happening on the other side of the population. The rich upper classes did not acknowledge the working classes as anything but cheap labour for use in production of goods.
In the play Eva Smith represents the poverty stricken working class people of Britain. An example of the split of upper class and working class can be found on page six when Sheila asks the Inspector about Eva Smith’s death and Mrs. Birling says, “I don’t suppose for a moment we can understand why that girl committed suicide. Girls of that class…” This wasn’t just Mrs. Birlings view on the poor but also most of the upper classes too. Mr. Birling’s view on the working class didn’t differ much to his wives. Priestley invented the Inspector as a representative of socialism come to sort out capitalism and the problems it caused for others. Priestley uses the Inspector to convey socialist views.
After studying the play in this essay, J.B Priestley uses the social and political climate of the day, the class system, the Inspector and many techniques and devices to put his socialist views across in his play. Also Priestley gives us the idea that none of this would’ve had come to light if the girl hadn’t of committed suicide. The play is also like a test in the way that the Birlings have to keep taking it until they learn their lesson.
If I were directing the first scene from the “Inspector Calls” play I would keep most of the objects that are instructed inside the book by J.B. Priestly but add or change some of them. I will keep the stage the same because it symbolises how the family is, “The dining-room of a fairly large suburban house,” “good solid furniture” this shows that they are or they think they are a high-class family. I will add a piano because even if the family can’t play the piano it shows that the family are posh. A long dining table because the longer the table it will show that the Birlings have many visitors, it will make them very important and probably famous. I will add a grandfather clock to show that they are a high-class family.
When the Inspector arrives I would make him pause in the door way for a while so that the audience can try to understand him. He will be wearing a black suit with a long beige coat on top and a matching large hat that shadows his eyes as he will be looking down. As soon as he enters he will look up to reveal his expressionless face and look directly at the other characters showing he means business. The inspector will be about 6 foot in height to go with his domineering personality. His posture will be very straight and stiff.
When Mr. Birling invites the inspector to sit down, “Sit down Inspector” he will take big strides towards the chair. The first words he will say are, “Mr Birling?” These words will be said quite slowly, loud and clear to show he has authority. When he is offered port by Mr. Birling he will refuse it by shaking his head once and saying “No Thank you.” I will keep directing him to show his mysterious by making him have this same attitude throughout the play.