He is trying to teach his son and son-in-law to forget about the “cranks” or Socialists, and to follow his traditional opinion that it is “every man for himself”. The Inspector goes on to make an impression on the younger members of the family, namely Sheila and Eric, who genuinely feel remorseful after their interrogation. The Inspector is trying to make them question the status quo, not to blindly follow the paths of their parents and hence be more open-minded towards new ideas. Eric plainly opposes his father’s views. For example, Eric says, “Why shouldn’t they try for higher wages?
We try for the highest possible prices. And I don’t see why she should have been sacked just because she’d a bit more spirit than the others. You said yourself she was a good worker. I’d have let her stay. ” Eric’s father’s response to this is an angry “Unless you brighten your ideas, you’ll never be in a position to let anybody stay or to tell them to go. ” The Inspector encourages Eric’s different way of thinking when he makes comments such as “It’s better to ask for the earth than to take it”. He also encourages Sheila to feel responsible for her actions, and not listen to her father who tells her to “forget about it”.
Evidently it can be seen that JB Priestly has aimed to teach us many lessons about society through his play. He hopes that by reading his play, people will think more about their individual and collective responsibilities, understand equality and treat others as equals, no matter what their status in life is and be unbiased in our thoughts and “open” ourselves up to new ideas. Lillian Ong 9V5 Subject: Teacher: Page 1 of 2 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.