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An Inspector Calls

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Isabel van Haperen 10B Introduction An Inspector Calls was written by J.B. Priestley just after the war in 1945. The play is set in the Edwardian era on an evening in spring, 1912, in the dining room of a fairly large suburban house. The Edwardian era was very important because during this period the British class system was at its most rigid, although paradoxically, changes in social thought, particularly this rising interest in socialism, attention to the plight of the poor and the status of women, expressed in, for example, the issue of women's suffrage, together with increased economic opportunities as a result of rapid industrialisation, created an environment in which there could be more social mobility and people would become more liberal. The period in which Priestley wrote the play, just after the second world war, there was a lot of changes going on and the difference is with the time the play is set in, is that the Birlings haven't had any of the wars yet Priestley has. He puts this into the play giving it quite a lot of dramatic irony by the mistakes that Birling makes in his speech. The plot: It's basically about a well classed family, the Birlings, are having a celebratory dinner because their daughter, Sheila, is getting married to Gerald Croft. Gerald is also from a high classed family and Birling is slightly worried that Gerald's mother may find them to low classed because the Crofts are slightly higher class than the Birlings are. ...read more.


When on stage I would tell the actress to think of herself as if she is better than all of the other actors in the room, the hold her head high and talk as if she is a right snob. I think that Mrs Birling should look like the following (including costume): She should be tall, elegant, wear a very classy very big dress, should talk with a posh accent and should hold herself high on her body. I think that Mrs Birling should be portrayed as a very hard very stuck up person, because that is actually the type of character she seems to have. Mr Birling: Mr Arthur Birling is Sybil Birling's wife, the father of Sheila and Eric Birling; he will soon be the Father-in-law to Gerald Croft as he is getting married to Sheila. Mr Birling seems to think that he is the owner of the world; yet he is quite humble towards his wife, as she is of a higher social class than him, to Gerald Croft, as Gerald is marrying Sheila and is of a higher social class, and he is quite humble towards his own daughter, Sheila. But he isn't humble towards his son, Eric, to Eric he seems to be rather rough and he seems to keep putting Eric down next to Gerald. He says that the night of the party is the happiest day of his life and this is not only because Sheila is getting married but also because of the mergence that will happen between his business and Crofts LTD. ...read more.


You might have some suspicions but you're not quite sure if he actually is human, if he is the conscious of Birling in the future who had come back. Yet when I picture him talking I picture him to talk to the family with a tone of disgust, no respect at all. I would tell the actor to look down on the family. To deliver his lines as if the family is quite slow in understanding, not that they are. So that it's really obvious that he despises them. Yet he seems to have a sense of compassion for Eric and Sheila as they admit to their sins and regret what they have done. Who is the inspector? When you get to know him better you start to get questions popping up in your head, well I did anyway: 1) Who is he? 2) Is he someone's conscious? 3) Is it someone's ghost? 4) Did this girl really exist? 5) Why is he doing this? 6) Does he want to help this family or just hinder them in their night? Conclusion: The audience would probably react at first in disbelief; they wouldn't believe that the girl didn't really exist. Then they would be confused, they wouldn't get who the inspector actually was... they would get more into it and really want to learn more about this girl and the inspector. And by the end of the scene they will be horrified, they will be shocked with the fact that everyone actually had something to do with it. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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