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An Inspector Calls - Tasks

Based on the resource [i]An Inspector Calls[/i]

Literary Analysis: Plot, Characters, Theme and Setting

  1. Watch the video about the plot ( An Inspector Calls - Plot) and explain how Priestley uses the structure of a detective play to tell the story. Is he successful in doing so? Explain why/why not.
  2. Watch the video about the characters ( An Inspector Calls - Character). Select one of the members of the Birling family and write a character study. Use the text for reference to show how Priestley uses the character to convey his own opinions and attitudes.
  3. Watch the video concerning themes in the play ( An Inspector Calls - Theme). What do you consider major themes? Explain why. Use examples from the text to verify your answers.
  4. The play was written during the winter of 1944/45. However, the play is set in the Edwardian past, around 30 years earlier. Why do you think this is so?
  5. Can you think of other stage plays, films or books which explore concepts of time (e.g. Sliding Doors)?
  6. Do you think An Inspector Calls has a message for us today? Give reasons for your answer.


  1. Flip through some English newspapers looking for articles that thematically can be linked to An Inspector Calls. Pretend that you are one of the characters in the play and write a letter to the Editor in response to the article. Remember that the different characters will express themselves differently as to style and content.
  2. What will happen with the arrival of the real police inspector? Use dialogue and stage directions to show your understanding of character. Write it down and act it out.
  3. The scandal of the Birling family has hit the headlines of the Daily Gazette. Write the newspaper article.
  4. Write a literary analysis of the play.
  5. Write an essay elaborating on themes in the play that you find relevant today.