The past, before moving forward



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Her response to that is very touching and makes the audience think twice, about Sheila as she replies “girls aren’t cheap labour”. At that point Sheila begins to argue and show some thought to what the inspector said, and responds thoughtfully and supportively. JB Priestly has shown Sheila as the only one who sees and understands, what the inspector is trying to do. Her response to the tragedy is one of the few encouraging ones. She is genuinely upset when she hears Eva Smiths death, and learns from her own actions. She is distressed by the girl’s suicide and thinks that her father’s behaviour was unacceptable.

She agrees that she behaved badly and insists that she never meant the girl any harm. Sheila shows that she is prepared to admit her faults, she appears to be keen and anxious to change her behaviour. The inspectors appearance to the scene has developed and affected everyone in the play, over all the characters in the play tend to deny that they don’t care and it has not hurt them as much by playing the, role of denial. The final scene when the inspector says his “good-bye” the speech is an important scene, because this is where the inspector shows the true colours, of what he thinks of the Birling families action to Eva Smith’s death.

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This was done by stating the true facts ” We are all responsible for each other I tell you that the time will come when if men will not learn that lesson, they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish” (act3, pg56). This basically reflects on to meaning that we all do bad things to people, at the end within time the truth makes us face reality which is painful, to accept and to take action straightway. The inspectors speech shows us that it is not right to hurt others, by treating them differently from their upbringings, so there is no need for stereotypical or inequality remarks.

To conclusion his last speech “they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish” he warns the Birling family off by telling them that there is more to come and it is not over yet, not until you can face up to society with the truth. It also shows that never play with fire. This speech has an effect on the characters, both positively and negatively. Mr Birling does not care and he feels that himself and his wife were rightly to do what they did, without a doubt. He continues to ignore the shameful things, that himself and his family have done.

When it appears that the inspector might be a hoaxer, he is happy to believe that everything is as it was a few hours ago. Sheila is unable to accept her parent’s attitude and is both amazed and concerned, that they have not learnt anything from the episode. Although the inspector might be a hoaxer, the family have still behaved in an entirely unsuitable manner. Sheila learns that her responsibilities to others are less fortunate, than herself she has become more sensitive, she is eager to learn from the whole experience.

Eric is also to be blame and is willing to recognise to what he did and own up to it like Sheila. All the characters apart from Gerald were all deeply affected. But Gerald was one person who was not affected by it as much. This may have been done because JB Priestly thought, he could be the one who pulls the Birlings family hopes, in saying the inspector was not real and now we can settle and move on from that scandalous event, which destroyed our happy moment earlier. After the inspector had left the scene it began to show, the characters true personalities.

In how they just tried to put the evenings events behind them and move on. The only person who was truly affected by all of this was Sheila and Eric was effect a little. Throughout the play I have learnt a lot about the families qualities and weaknesses. I think that JB Priestlys aim was to explain to his audience, that if we were like the Birling family we would need to change sooner that later, and also to be more considerate and caring towards others. Now you can see whom the inspector changed and whom he had no effect on.

The play promotes a socialist idea through the inspector. The audience understand what the inspector was trying to, put across in his last powerful speech in act 3. JB Priestly has given the audience a chance to decide whether or not they agree with the inspectors speech. Over all it is a very clever play, making the audience think, not just of themselves but other peoples actions as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the play as it showed people hurting others, with their immoral actions and how it is wrong to move on without dealing with the current situation.

The play ends in a moral way, by showing how future events in life cause damage, to a persons life in a tragic way. It has also revealed how maturity comes from experiences throughout a persons life and how real fate can be destined to you, personally and change you for they way you think about society and people. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section.

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