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An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls English Literature Course Work Written Task In act one of An Inspector Calls how does Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the audience as well as interest and involve them in the play. An Inspector Calls is a well-made play. Its progression is that from ignorance to knowledge, not only for the audience but also for the characters themselves. The place, the Birlings dining-room, is a detailed, naturalistic setting to set the tone of the comfort, success and self-satisfaction required to correspond with the initially celebrating family. It is also constant throughout; and the action and dialogue all contribute to the central theme of the play, with nothing extraneous to distract the audience's attention. The play is set in 1912 but when the play was written in 1945, people had just been through two world wars and were optimistic about there future. Reading it now we know that the world has improved. Our reaction to the play now must be different to what it was then. The people who had read it in 1945 will be able to realate to it more than most other people because they were there and could of said the same thing as Mr Birling about there not being, how Mr Birling put it ''...a chance of war. ...read more.


Thereafter, with the Inspector's arrival, the lighting becomes 'brighter and harder' as the events of the play take their dramatic course and mood progressively changes. The character of Inspector Goole creates an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness. He speaks carefully, weightily and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses. Even for an Inspector he's a bit to accretive. There was no inkling at that point that he was a fake or different from any other Inspector but you did start to wonder a bit about that after he continuously shouts at the Birlings which is sometimes unexpected. Sheila has regarded him 'wonderingly and dubiously, later she notes that no-one told him anything that he did not already know. When Priestley was writing the play he must of had a problem establisheing the character of Inspector Goole, was he a realistic straightforward police inspector, a hoaxer, or something else. The Inspector has been successful in bringing Sheila and Eric to a realisation of their guilt and responsibility. This becomes clear on Gerald's return and the subsequent revelation that Ghoole was not a police inspector at all. Who or what he was is left deliberately unresolved by Priestley, almost as if to heighten the supernatural nature of the Inspector. ...read more.


Priestley's very cleaver in the way he keeps his audience and his readers interested and glued. He makes us think about the Birlings and the twist at the end our selves instead of telling us what happened. We do all the work and figure it out instead of him telling us, like a puzzle that we've got to solve. The audience's interest is sustained not only by the progressive revelations but by their desire to find out who, ultimately, was responsible for driving Eva to her suicide. Priestley heightens the audience's suspense by his skilful use of climaxes within the carefully controlled plot and by ensuring that the audience is left on tenterhooks at the conclusion of each act. While Gerald, Arthur and Sybil laugh at what they perceive to be a hoax, Sheila and Eric are serious and aware of the consequences of their actions. At the last moment, Priestley adds his final twist to the plot, as Arthur answers the telephone only to hear the fateful news that an Inspector is about to arrive to investigate a girl's suicide. As the curtain falls all the characters are seen guilty and dumbfounded, left to face a repeat of the evening's events, the consequences of which would be left for the audience to predict. The ending is purposely ambiguous which is why I think this stories has lasted so long and still remains a great story. ...read more.

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  1. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    play, whereas in the original script the technique used to make his arrival prominent is his name "Goole". In my opinion, I think that the Inspector is Priestley himself simply using the inspector as a device to convey the message of responsibility to the audience.

  2. How is "An Inspector Calls" a well-made play?

    The three characters are happy, that is why there is another phone call from the police informing the Birlings that another Inspector is on the way. This twist in time is another way of teaching the Birlings that they can't escape the consequences of their actions.

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