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An Inspector Calls

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Introduction

An Inspector Calls The inspector is the centre of the play and this is shown in the way he is different from the other characters and the way he dominates the script. There is a massive contrast between the Birlings' celebrations at the beginning of the play to when the inspector comes in. When the inspector enters the play everything seems to turn to ice we know that everything is going to turn upside down. What the Birling family were celebrating at the beginning of the play doesn't even exist at the end of it so comparing the beginning to the end there is a big change and a massive contrast. At the Royal National Theatre "An Inspector Calls" production the stage was set as a street. In the middle of the street was the Birlings' house. This was up high away from the poverty below. At the beginning of the play there were war sirens and children scurrying around like rats in 1940's clothing. These time zones help create the dramatic irony, already present in the script. There are three time zones portrayed in the production the first one is the 1940's. Throughout the play the inspector and other figures such as the children who represent the poor and lower class are all dressed in 1940's clothes. ...read more.

Middle

by conveying subtly that Eva becomes an economic victim because of a class system that robbed workers of the power to have a voice, "I refused of course". The inspector seems to create a great effect on people just by saying a name or showing a photograph. Mr. Birling- "I think you remember Eva Smith now." Sheila-"Recognizes it with a little cry, gives a half-stifled sob, and then runs out." Gerald-"Changed her name to Daisy Renton"-"What?" Mrs. Birling "You recognize her?"-"No. Why should I?" He is solid and there is a kind of presence about him but Priestley gives him the name Goole, which is similar to the word ghoul meaning ghostly. Because of Mr. Birling's importance he knows most of the police in Brumley. "You're new, aren't you? I'm still on the bench-so I know the Brumley police officers." but as he doesn't seem to know this inspector it tells us he is either new or not who he says he is. The inspector does change the family. First of all he orchestrates a conversation between Sheila and Gerald leaving Gerald to confess about his relationship with Eva Smith whom he had known as Daisy Renton. Sheila breaks off her engagement to Gerald, which means the life she had mapped out for herself has now changed "I think you'd better take this with you (She hands him the ring)". ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the reason the audience is made to feel guilty in a production when this fourth wall comes down. At the end of it all Sheila and Eric are the only ones who seem to have learnt something. Mr and Mrs Birling and Gerald the older ones who should know better dismiss it and want to get back to their normal lives as soon as possible, "You'll have a good laugh over it yet". This could have been intentional because Sheila and Eric have longer to live and therefore have longer to change things. This is why the inspector is at the centre of the play because he has changed everything and taught a lot and most things that the family will go on to do will remind them of him because he affected and changed them so much. Maybe Sheila and Eric have learnt but what have the people in the present day learnt? The dramatic irony in the play, which is the fact that Eric and Gerald may have had to be conscripted to go to war in the near future, shows us that we cannot predict the future and that if we don't learn then we will keep being punished in "fire and blood and anguish". ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Karen Spanswick 02/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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