• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Inspector Calls

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE English Coursework 'An Inspector Calls' In Act One of 'An Inspector Calls', how does J. B. Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the members of the audience, as well as interest and involve them in his play? 'An Inspector Calls' by J. B. Priestley is a play about a girl who commits suicide and a police investigation into this suicide. The play can be placed in the detective thriller genre because it shows things that are present in this genre, such as the fact that someone dies, the police investigate the death, and we find out the cause of death. In addition, as the play progresses it becomes a 'Whodunit?' because, as the audience slowly learn, all the characters in this drama had a part to play in the girl's suicide. This whodunit style keeps the audience interested in the play by building up suspense and keeping the audience guessing. However, the play is more than just a detective thriller or whodunit? It is also a morality play because the main theme is responsibility and how our actions can cause a chain of events that affect other people. Priestley uses the seven deadly sins - pride, sloth, gluttony, envy, covetousness, lust, and greed - to show how the Birlings have done morally wrong and how they need to take responsibility for their actions. I feel that, among other things, morality is one of Priestley's main concerns for this play. His other concern is how higher social classes had power over the lower social classes as Priestley feels that this is wrong and voices this opinion through Inspector Goole by teaching the Birlings and Gerald Croft, high middle class people, the error of their ways towards Eva Smith, a working class citizen. ...read more.

Middle

The use of the doorbell as a sound effect will create some form of tension with the audience as once they hear this sound they all of a sudden start to enquire 'Who is it?' 'What could they want?' This will, in turn, draw the viewers into the plot and get them more involved in the play. Plus, the timing of the doorbell in connection to Mr Birling's speech has a dramatic impact on the scene because Priestly has, once more, used irony as it is the police and the start of a scandal and the inspector will soon show Mr Birling that it is not right for everyman to look after just himself. Therefore, Priestley has used the doorbell as a dramatic device to draw the audience into the plot and build tension. When Inspector Goole enters the stage, he is there with Mr Birling, Eric and Gerarld Croft. The inspector informs them of the suicide of Eva Smith and the plot starts to unfold. The significance of the name Eva Smith is important because as the inspector says at the end of the play, 'But remember this. One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us'. This shows us that Eva Smith is being used as a sample of the common person. In addition, the Inspector has a specific interviewing techniques, in which he only talks to one person at a time about the death. This shows the inspector is in charge of the situation and is in control. ...read more.

Conclusion

He uses the conventions of a whodunit to keep the audience guessing and build suspense. Then, Priestley heightens this suspense by adding a supernatural element. He uses the sound-effect of a doorbell to create tension and make an ironic situation. Priestley also uses irony to ridicule certain characters. The character's exits and entrances are used for dramatic impact and Priestley uses the character of Inspector Goole as a dramatic device that conveys his opinion on morals. Therefore, we can see that Priestley uses many dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the audience. Furthermore, Priestley highlights how the Birlings and Gerald Croft are guilt of the seven deadly sins. But, Priestley also shows how people can change and become more responsible. He shows this in Shelia's transformation from guilt to responsibility. I feel that the audiences viewing the play in 1945 would have been a very mixed crowd of feelings towards the play, some of who would have been disgusted at how their social class was portrayed. But, I feel that mostly people would have come out the play and taken a long hard look at themselves in order to see if they are like the people shown in the play. I still think the Priestley's ideas are somewhat relevant in 2006 because we still have this social divides. One is between the southern half of the country and the northern half of the country; another is between the celebrity rich and the unemployed poor. I think that once people see this play that a few of them will realise that 60 years on, we have changed a great deal, yet, we still haven't abolished the ways that make a big divide between people. And we still have not learnt to be ... Morally responsible ... ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. How does Priestley present attitudes to the theme of morality in "An Inspector Calls"?

    They both tell a similar story- Gerald saying "I guess I didn't feel about her as she did about me" and Eric, "I wasn't in love with her or anything". To someone with shallow moral perception, these stories may seem identical, and equally condonable or condemnable.

  2. How does Priestley create suspense and tension at the end of Act 2 of ...

    She does indeed end up later regretting what she did. However, the audience already knew this because all along, we knew that she was talking about Eric. And reading her behaviour and attitude towards her son up to the point, we can see that he is very dear to her

  1. In act 1 of An inspector calls how does Priestley convey his concerns and ...

    The death of Eva smith is descended from when she was found in the ''infirmary'' down to the time she was working for Mr Birling, but the order is done randomly. Priestley explored a variety of issues concerning pre-world war one Britain.

  2. An Inspector Calls is a play with strong morals. How does Priestley use Inspector ...

    This also shows that the Inspector is aware of the tiniest bit of history ever connected with each individual. "(Mrs.Birling) (understanding now) But surely...I mean...it's ridiculous... (Mr.Birling) (terrified now) Look Inspector, you're not trying to tell us that-that my boy-is mixed up in this-?

  1. The Inspector takes the shallow morality of the Birlings and shows there is no ...

    The Inspector has an influential, dominant and authoritative personality. When Gerald admits that he had an affair with Daisy Renton, she is upset but is emotionally strong enough to cope with it and to even to acknowledge that she is impressed by Gerald's honesty.

  2. Discuss how Priestley creates dramatic tension during Gerald's and Mrs Birling's conversations with the ...

    "I must say Sybil that when this comes out at the inquest, it isn't going to do us much good. The press might easily take it up" he cares more about whether the press will find out than how is family are coping with the investigation.

  1. "You and I aren't the same people who sat down together before dinner" Sheila ...

    Generally, Gerald attempts to do and say what he hopes Mr & Mrs Birling will agree with and he also attempts to please Sheila, though he is not particularly successful. Gerald comes out of his "interview� with the Inspector better than any other character, because he did not do anything

  2. Analyse the dramatic devices Priestley employs in "An Inspector Calls" to create tension and ...

    Priestley is showing how in the rigid class system of 1912, the upper class didn?t have any respect for the lower class, portraying the selfishness of the upper class as they don?t appear to want to know the affairs of the lower classes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work