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An Inspector Calls – GCSE Coursework

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1st January 2002 An Inspector Calls - GCSE Coursework SECTION A: Question 1: How does Priestley use the relationships between the various characters to bring out and develop the dramatic qualities of the play? In 'An Inspector Calls', there are four immensely strong and prominent relationships, which do not simply add dramatic effect, but are responsible for making the play work at all. These are the relationship between the Birling family members, the relationship between the Birlings and other people, most importantly the Crofts, the relationship between Shelia and Gerald, and, less specifically, the relationship between the different social classes. The relationship between the Birling family (in particular the parents) and the Inspector is also part of the relationship between social classes. The way that the parents treat their children in the Birling family creates great misunderstanding and distrust between them. Arthur Birling's great preoccupation with his social standing and the way in which he and his family are viewed by the Crofts makes him develop a great likeness for Gerald. Finally, the way in which the Birling parents look down upon the Inspector and try from the outset to assert their authority over him creates dramatic tension when he overrules and belittles them. These points will all be detailed on later. The Birling household has a definite feudal system, or at least in the mind of Author Birling. Mr Birling is the head of the household, the decision maker, the wisest of them, and most important. ...read more.


Eric seems to break down under the Inspector's questioning, and screams insults at his family 'Damn you! Damn you!' The Birling family relationship that Priestly has built up has been broken down now with great drama. The relationship between Birlings and other people of the same or higher social standing is very much a fronted one. Birling is very eager to see his daughter marry Gerald, most probably because of the business benefits for him. 'When Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing, but working together - for lower costs and higher prices.' He also favours the social standing of the Croft family 'Lady Croft feels you might have done better socially.' He therefore looks kindly upon Gerald, who is his ticket to greater success, both financially and socially. Dramatic tension is created when he finds out about Gerald's affair, and the audience wait to see if he will condemn him, something that he does not do. In addition, Birling is defensive of Aldermand Meggarty, who he does know to be a womanising drunk, however he would never say such a thing or have any of his family say it. He exclaims 'Shelia!' when she remarks about Meggarty. Shelia and Gerald's marriage may be a convenient improvement of the Croft's business relationship with the Birlings, but their marriage certainly is not a token; and they do love each other. There are places in the play when they 'silently stare at each other' and 'kiss hastily'. ...read more.


Gerald (puzzled) What? But surely, you must. Sergeant I'm sorry Sir. I'm pretty new to this town, but I have never heard of any Inspector Goole. Gerald (slightly excited) But are you sure? Sergeant Yes Sir, certainly. It's a strange name, Goole, I certainly would not forget it. Gerald (becoming quite excited, but trying to remain calm) Yes, a strange name indeed... (thinking to himself) Perhaps I can describe him to you, he is a tall man, well-built, dark haired, deep voice and dark, almost piercing eyes. The Sergeant thinks long and hard about this, before speaking. Sergeant No Sir, I have never seen such a man in all my few years with this force. Gerald (pleased, relived) And you're completely sure? Sergeant Absolutely, Sir. Gerald (turning back towards the Birlings house) Thank you, Sergeant, you've been of great help! Sergeant Glad I could help, Sir. (pauses) Erm...excuse me for asking, Sir, but why exactly did you enquire about this Goole fellow? They'll ask me that when I check back at the station. Gerald (stops suddenly, a puzzled look on his face) Oh, it was just a bet, that all. Just a silly bet, no need to worry about it! Oh, and erm...there's no need to check back at the station, no need at all. Like I said, it was all just a prank, nothing to worry about at all. Sergeant (smiling) All right then, Sir. Have a pleasant night! Gerald Oh I will, Sergeant, thank you! Gerald continues down the street to the Birling's house and the Sergeant turns the other way and goes back to his business. David Swift 10H ...read more.

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