An Inspector Calls is a play by J. B. Priestley that was first performed in 1947. Priestley presents an unconventional approach to the traditional whodunit of detective fiction; the guiding mystery of Priestley’s play is not who killed the victim, but how each member of the Birling family contributed to her suicide. The Birlings' collective guilt conveys Priestley’s message that it is the social duty of every human being to examine the impact of any action on others and to care for and help them, without self-consideration.


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See a complete list of the characters in An Inspector Calls and in-depth analyses of Arthur Birling, Sheila Birling, Eric Birling, Eva Smith/Daisy Renton, Inspector Goole, and more.

Literary Devices

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Questions & Answers

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Further Study

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