What is J.B. Priestly trying to say about Social reform through An Inspector Calls

The play by J. B. Priestley was written in 1945 and was performed in 1946. It was just after WWII so people really got the message about change. He also gave them a message that if they don’t change it will happen all over again. Mr Birling plays a main part in the play he is the strong businessman who only cares about his family and his profits. He considers his workers just as cheap labour and nothing more. He sacks Eva Smith after she asks for a pay raise he sacks her with no regard for her well-being (Quotation 6). Priestley has Mr Birling in the play to show why job security and benefits are so important in our lives.
Priestley also gets across (Quotation 7) that this happens everywhere. Also it is morally wrong as Priestley shows through Sheila in (Quotation 8). This played a part in Eva Smiths death because she was sacked wrongly and this needs to change that is the message Priestley gets across by using Mr Birling. Sheila is involved in the death of Eva Smith she is trying on a dress and she sees a young girl smiling at her. She storms out and complains to the manager she threatens the manager with cancelling her family account with Millards. Priestley tries to get across in this part that using your family name and your class is wrong.
Sheila misuses her power and Priestley wants to stamp this out he believes it to be wrong. Gerald is involved with Eva Smith but this is when she has changed her name to Daisy Renton. He meets her at the palace variety bar and takes her away from a man who is scaring her. He asks her if she would like to stay in some rooms he temporarily has (Quotation 10) he and Daisy start to become close and get intimate but Gerald breaks it off a few weeks later (Quotation 11). Priestley tries to get across through Gerald that you must be responsible for your actions.


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Gerald just drops Daisy Renton when it suits him and it leaves her distraught and sad. Priestley shows us that taking responsibility for what you have done is extremely important. Mrs Birling is head of an organization that helps poor distraught women get back to their lives. Eva Smith/Daisy Renton comes here under the name of Miss Birling. Mrs Birling takes an instant dislike to Eva/Daisy (Quotation 12). Mrs Birling doesn’t believe Eva Smith/Daisy Renton’s story and dismisses her that the husband should take full responsibility (Quotation 13).
Priestley again shows misuse of power, she could make or break this young girls life but Mrs Birling doesn’t do the right thing. Eric also plays a part in the death of Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. He is drunk one evening and started to talk to Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. He takes her home and pesters her to get inside (Quotation 14). He hen got her pregnant (Quotation 15). Eric is used to show us why responsibility is needed in the community he does what he does without thinking about the consequences. Eric then steals money from his fathers business to help Eva Smith/Daisy Renton.
Priestley says that if people do not take responsibility for their action bad things will happen. The inspector in the play is used to convey Priestley’s views and concerns. He explains how they all contributed to her death (Quotation 16). He explains about how Eric must take responsibility for what he did (Quotation 17). Priestley gets across everything through the inspector and explains how this young girl Eva Smith/Daisy Renton could be anyone, anywhere (Quotation 19). He gets across that not just money is needed things like job security is needed (quotation 18).
The inspector in the play voices Priestley’s concerns about social reform. Priestley uses an array of ways to convey his views on social reform. He shows it in every character Mr Birling, Mrs Birling, Sheila, Gerald, Eric, they all helped to kill Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. With a lack of responsibility or misuse of power. The inspector gets across Priestley’s views in the play by voicing them for him. Also Priestley uses the trick of repeating at he end of the play to show that if you haven’t learnt your lesson then it will happen all over again.

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