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'An Inspector Call' is a play written by J

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English Coursework on 'An Inspector Calls' 'An Inspector Call' is a play written by J.B. Priestly, which was set in 1912 but was first produced in 1945. The play opens with the Birling family and Gerald croft seated in the dining room and celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald. The Birling is a middle class family and Mr. Birling is a prosperous manufacturer who is concerned in his own profit and has no concern on others feelings. His wife is about fifty, a cold woman, and her husband's social superior. Sheila is a pretty girl, who is pleased with life and rather excited. Gerald is an easy well bred young man about town. Eric in his early twenties, he is half-shy and half assertive. Edna is the parlour maid working in Mr. Birling's house. This typical middle class family are visited by an Inspector named Goole who questions everyone in Mr. Birling's family. The Inspector is from the future who wants to make everyone in Mr. Birling's family to realise their mistakes. Priestly wants to make the audience watching the play to realise their mistakes and also to think whether they have changed from their past or not. Priestly uses the Inspector to achieve these reactions. The Inspector is a dramatic device used by Priestly to convey his message across his audience. He was a socialist and strongly believed in community so as the Inspector teaches the characters about communism, he wants the audience to think of it and teach the audience about community. ...read more.


"His wife is about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husband's social superior." This enables the audience to form opinion on Mrs. Birling. Priestly wants the audience to judge every character in the play before the Inspector's arrival. The arrival of the Inspector has been carefully planned. The Inspector arrives just as Mr. Birling was mocking communism and teaching him about socialism which gives us an idea that he is teach them about community. At first the play is like a murder mystery, the audience are unable o understand what is going on and they are kept guessing about what's going on. The way the investigation is conducted helps the audience to think that this is not a murder mystery and encourages the audience to think deeply. As the play progresses it becomes clear that each character is questioned in order to coincide with when they met Eva Smith which stresses the theme and the collective responsibility they have in the death of Eva Smith. The Inspector talks about chain of events, which explain that no one is to blame individually, everyone has a responsibility in it; this is what Priestly wishes to get across the audience. The play ends with a mystery of who the Inspector is and encourages the audience to leave the theatre thinking. Priestly wants to provoke thought. The changes in dramatic tension keeps the audience engaged with the play and not to think of something else. Each act ends with a cliff hanger which increases tension. ...read more.


Sheila goes one step further and she not only changes herself, but also tries to change the others. She says, "I tell you - whoever the Inspector was, it was anything but a joke.........and now you've stopped. And ready to go in the same old way." She plays an active role in trying to change others and spread the word. Priestly wants his audience to do the same. When the Inspector questions Sheila she cannot find out who the girl is, but when the Inspector tells the rest of the story, she realises her and admits herself to it. Eric was the last one to be investigated. He says the truth as soon as he enters. After the Inspector has gone, Gerald checks out who he is and confirms that he is not a real police Inspector. They think that he is hoax. Mrs. Birling says, "I felt it all time. He never talked like one. The end when the phone rings and hen they hear that a police Inspector is coming to them the audience as well as the characters are confused and astonished at it. Priestly succeeded in his intentions to deliver his message. He wants the audience to think whether they have changed or remained the same. This play is more relevant for the audience of 1945. Priestly want the audience of that period to realise their mistakes. This play is also relevant today because class is still an issue as some people are treated unfairly. Priestly uses many techniques to deliver his message. He uses Inspector and many other characters in the play as a device to deliver his message and he is successful in it. Janarthenan Singarajah 10 SNU ...read more.

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