So I've recently been thinking about the play an inspector calls by Priestley and I thought of an insane idea revolving it which many people overlook.

For context, people who analyse this play usually get the impression that Priestley is a socialist and is using the characters as constructs to convey his ideas about how capitalism is bad. This is a good way to analyse the play which 99% of people would usually do.

To bring you all back to my thought, we could get the impression that Priestley is actually a capitalist instead of a socialist and believes socialism is pointless. Let me explain

In the play, Arthur, Sybil, Sheila, Eric and Gerald get questioned by an Inspector google. As the play progresses, Arthur and Sybil don't seem to change but Eric and Sheila change drastically. Gerald shows change however when he phones the police to check for an inspector Goole, he immediately reverts back to his former self from the start.

This moment when Gerald reverts is one reason we get the impression that Priestley is a capitalist which thinks socialism is pointless because it shows that even justice for bad actions don't change how people act.

Furthermore, in the end, after Eric and Sheila show a change, the phone calls again which explains that an inspector is visiting to ask questions. This creates a cyclic structure to the play, however, due to Sheila and Eric changing into 'socialists' this repeat of the events shows us that even if you change your behaviour towards society, you will still receive the same justices as people who are bad to society. As I said at the start, Priestley does this to highlight to the audience that socialism is a pointless cycle

Anyways this is just a perspective I just thought of put of nowhere 🙂 I would love to hear what everyone else thinks of this viewpoint

Source: reddit post


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