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An Inspector Calls

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls In the opening stage directions Priestley creates a relaxed atmosphere by a group of people celebrating and having a little party. Priestley shows it's relaxed by telling us what's on the table. The objects on the table are all products that help people more laid back and joyful, "decanter of port, cigar box and cigarettes". Also the light in the room is pink and intimate which is calm on your eyes and which shows everything is calm and peaceful between the characters at the moment. " Lighting should be pink and intimate until the inspector arrives, and the it should be brighter and harder." This tells the audience the inspector is bringing strife to the celebration and he will cause a lot of tension. The furniture looks important and heavily comfortable but not cosy and homelike. "It has good solid furniture of the period. The general effect is substantial and heavily comfortable but not cosy and homelike." This says the furniture is just to show off and really for the family to sit around showing they care more about money than each other. Mrs Birling has a wealthy family so she's always been wealthy but Mr Birling had to work hard for he money he earned by himself. " His wife is about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husbands social superior." Mr Birling is a bit jealous of his wife cause she didn't have to work for her wealth and he did. Also because he's the man of the family he feels it's his job to have the most money and to look after his wife and children. This shows a hint of tension between Mr and Mrs Birling from the jealousy Priestley shows a relaxed atmosphere in the beginning of Act One by having all the glasses filled and having Birling in a joyful mood. "They now have all the glasses filled. ...read more.

Middle

This would annoy Birling but he just forgets about it. Audience are surprised that Birling doesn't reply when the inspector interrupts. The inspector creates a lot of tension when he show's Birling a photo of Eva Smith but blocks Gerald and Eric from seeing it. " Both Gerald and Eric rise to have a look at the photograph, but the inspector interposes himself between them and the photograph. They are surprised and rather annoyed. Birling stares hard, and with recognition, at the photograph." The audience wants know if he's got a special reason for making sure Gerald or Eric don't get to look at the photo. This could be because they know who the girl is and could have something to do with the suicide. By blocking them from sight of the photo tension is created between the inspector and Gerald and Eric. The inspector puts the photograph back into his pocket when only Birling has had a look. Gerald says showing annoyance " Any particular reason why I shouldn't see this girl's photograph, inspector?" But the inspector just stays calm not caring that he's annoyed and looks hard at him and just says, " there might be" Priestley uses just a short sentence so it sticks in the audiences head and that he does have something to do with the girl but he isn't going to say yet, creating a sense of mystery. The inspector believes in socialism and shows this when he says "Because what happened to her then may have determined what happened afterwards, and what happened to her afterwards may have driven her to suicide. A chain of events." The inspector is saying what we do can effect others to do something so it is partly Birling fault she committed suicide. Birling says, " Still, I can't except any responsibility. If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we'd had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn't it?" ...read more.

Conclusion

Which finishes Act One on a cliffhanger because you want to know whether the inspector was listening through the door or if he already knew? The beginning of the act is a party and everyone is happy and cheerful but at the end of the act Gerald, Birling, Sheila and Eric are very tense and shocked. But miss Birling has been out of the act ever since the inspector arrived and has only been involved in the party. The atmosphere is very tense now unlike the start where it was a happy celebration. The unity of place for An Inspector Calls is only in the lounge. This creates more tension because the audience can just focus on one place so it's easier to know what's happening and imagine the setting. The unity of action for An Inspector Calls is only one plot line the girl's suicide. Having just the girl's suicide makes the audience able to understand what's happening and increases the tension. An Inspector Calls time to watch and the playtime is the same, which makes it more tense and easier to concentrate on what the time is in the play. Tension is increased in An Inspector Calls throughout the play. First the atmosphere is happy and they are having a celebration. Hints of tension are lights changing to white harsh light and Eric acting unusual. Preistley gives you detailed opening staged directions of the celebration. He describes what each character is like so you know if they are acting strange. When the inspector arrives the amount of tension increases tremendously. The inspector reveals secrets each of the characters have and telling all the other characters. The audience want to know how he knew so much and he end's Act One in a cliffhanger by saying just "well?" The tension increases by the inspector falling out with each character one by one. The inspector knows they are all selfish, lying, snobs and doesn't care what they say but they should accept the punishment. So Preistley is very subtle in creating and increasing the tension in the play. ...read more.

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