An Inspector Calls: Time
In J.B. Presitly’s play An Inspector Calls, time is a very important theme in contributing to the dramatic effect of the play.
Preistly cleverly uses two differing images and times to convey his contrasting ideals and messages. The first image is that the play is set in 1912, which was a time of bombings and attrition which contrasted with the relative peace of the end of 1945 and the Second World War. Preistly wanted to use the year 1912 because it was the height of the aggression in the Balkans and the boiling point of international relations, especially in Europe and Asia. He also chose 1912 as his year of choice as the class system and social hierarchy was still prominent in that time. It was also the industrial revolution and this helped push the story of Eva Smith Forward.
Other than the Contextual variant of Time in Preistly’s play, Time also takes another form as a Director’s concept in the play. Preistly, as a writer and literary genius, was especially fascinated by the different theories of time and was very interested in the works of J.W. Dunne. Dunne wrote a book about Time and how things could happen simultaneously with each other. Dunne’s theory also talks about the ability to look back and forward in time and see what has happened, this is an immediate reference to the inspector as he is able to see what the Birlings and Gerald Croft has done to Eva even before the death has taken place.
Preistly was also very interested in the theory of the life cycle or Ospensky’s theory, as it touches on the subject of reincarnation and enlightenment, this particular theory had a profound effect on the works of Preistly as it talks about retrying the event again and again until the correct effect is achieved. The theory of the life cycle is made apparent as the inspector leaves the Birling’s estate and another inspector is sent there to question them. The Theory is important to the continuation of the play as it suggests that...