I have created a visual product that explores symbolism in the play An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly. The disinfectant symbolizes Inspector Goole’s and the society’s attempt on cleansing and purifying the Birling family and Eva Smith.
The black and star background sets a dark, gloomy mood, correlating to the evening setting and plotline of the play. The use of black and white depicts the dark vs light in the story, symbolizing good and evil, rights and wrongs. The shades are also used to create contrast with the colored disinfectant for the purpose of emphasizing the focal point. Following the rule of thirds, the right side is the initiators of the cause, metaphorically spraying the disinfectant onto the affected victims located on the left side
The quotes were chosen based upon its association with the selected categories and to the overarching symbol. Portraying the dismissive attitude of the Birling family and their deceitful actions, the Inspector “didn’t make me confess […] I had done no more than my duty” (60). The quote “you haven’t to know the rest of our crimes and idiocies” (63) represents Arthur Birling’s realization and unintended confession of the family’s wrongdoings, suggesting the Inspector’s success. Eva Smith portrays the victim of the capitalist society, as her unfortunate end contradicts to the symbolic meaning to clean. Following to the right side of the visual, the society played a role in character development; representing the socialist mentality of “[putting] ourselves in the place of [others]” (20) which relates to the act of clearing the selfishness and capitalists in society. Inspector Goole tries to cleanse the family by exposing their secrets, however, it will ruin their prominence if made public, just like how the disinfectant destroyed Eva Smith.
The overall message of the visual allows the audience to understand the victim’s and initiator’s act of cleansing the society from the immoral by exploring the disinfectant symbol through the inner and outside forces.