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“An Inspector Calls”

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"An Inspector Calls" "An Inspector Calls" was written in 1945, the end of the Second World War. Britain was in a state of crisis with high unemployment, which the play blames on the inequality of the class system before the First World War. The author J B Priestley wrote it when he was 52 years old and had experienced the British class system in its heyday. He highlights the hypocrisy and abuse of power of the upper classes. He used the play to illustrate and try to change this system thus preventing further war. The social message of the play is the importance of moral behaviour and accountability at all levels. ...read more.


The set is symbolic, separating the audience from the play by using very realistic characters in unrealistic surroundings. The director uses sirens from World War Two to remind the audience of the future results of the selfish materialism that has led to huge devastation and social deprivation. The actors are very dramatic and physical. At the beginning of the play Sheila appears very innocent and na�ve. She appears oblivious to the troubles of society, but through the play, she develops into a strong aggressive and cynical character. The director achieved this change in demeanour by dressing her in a white virginal flowing dress that becomes dirty when she falls, symbolising her fall into the reality of the lower classes and the effects her actions have on them. ...read more.


When he enters, he stands beneath a lamp post, representing the illumination he will bring. He casts shadows on the stage reflecting the mystery and enigma surrounding him. At end of the play, the house falls and all the lavish decor of the dining room is ruined. This is symbolic of both the fall of Britain as a Super Power and the fall of the Birlings themselves. The director was also trying to highlight the disintegration of social class and is attacking discrimination. He chose to highlight the symbolism surrounding the play. This is done using very clever effects, and from that point of view, the play is a masterpiece, however it is not designed to be easy and enjoyable, as it is also harsh and shocking. It leaves the audience questioning their moral behaviour to their community, which I think was Priestley's original objective. 03/12/00 ...read more.

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