The play contrasts the comfortable life of the rich with the dismal life of the poor; the Inspector argues for an equal society.
An Inspector Calls (Grades 9–1)
The play emphasises the need to take responsibility for our actions and their consequences and uses the example of Eva Smith to show this.
Love is presented in different ways. Sheila and Gerald’s love is shaken, the Birlings’ marriage seems loveless, but the Inspector advocates a caring society.
At the end of the play the characters are given the opportunity to see the consequences of their actions and to behave differently when the second Inspector arrives and Priestley shows that events are to be repeated.
All the characters are dishonest with themselves or others, but Sheila and Eric and, to a lesser extent, Gerald learn to face the truth.