• 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...


How does Priestley make Act 1 tense, dramatic and interesting? J.B.Priestley's play: 'An Inspector Calls' is extremely tense, dramatic and interesting. Priestley makes his play this good by using a very wide array of clever techniques. These include: dramatic irony, snide comments and a true understanding of the people he has based the play on. During this piece of writing I shall be evaluating these techniques as well as giving a brief insight as to what actually happens in Act 1. It is hoped that by the end of this essay that the reader will have a better understanding of the wide variety of techniques Priestley uses and simply a better understanding of the Act in general. One example of these techniques is stage directions. Priestley uses them time and time again to a fantastic effect. The initial stage directions are critical to the play as without them the characters may have came out very different. For example they could turn out to have very different opinions on things such as Mrs.Birling liking Inspector Goole. Before the audience had even bought the tickets for their seats Priestley had given a huge amount of stage directions. He wanted each and every aspect of the play to be perfect, to be exactly how he wanted it. Priestley gets everything precisely how he wants it by not leaving anything to the imagination. One example of just how precise he wants everything is: 'Edna, the parlourmaid, is just clearing the table, which has no cloth'. ...read more.


For example: he creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness'. This shows just how much of an impact the inspector has when he enters the room. It also sets the tone for the inspector as he is like this for the rest of the play. This raises the tension, drama and audiences interest more than anything else so far in the play. The audience now know just how important the inspector is. The tension, drama and level of interest rises even more when the inspector begins to question Birling. As the inspector questions Birling, the play becomes extremely tense. Birling, at first, is very cool about the whole thing. He is adamant that he is one hundred percent innocent and seems to know it. However, as the inspector continues to question Birling he begins to utter more names and places. Upon hearing these Birling's coolness slowly declines until he is actually quite worried. The mood of the play compliments Birlings mood fantastically here. One example of how nervous Birling becomes is 'moves restlessly, then turns'. This quotation shows just how uncomfortable Birling is with the situation. It also shows that he is probably guilty and that is why he's so restless. This, I believe, is the most tense and exciting scene in the entire act. The audience learns a great deal, such as the inspector's interrogation techniques and that Birling is guilty. ...read more.


Furthermore, the setting of a very quaint, country house, with a very cold, 'un-family-like' feeling is perfect and sets the tone superbly for the play. Early on we also get a few very discrete clues as to what might happen in the latter stages of the play. We also learn a great deal about each of the characters. Arthur Birling is very self-righteous and also, despite his wealth, gives himself away as being quite a fool. Sybil Birling is very cold and uncaring; she doesn't tend to worry herself over the circumstances. Sheila Birling is very light hearted and quiet, she remains this way until she is personally questioned. This seems to change her character almost completely. Eric Birling is quite drunk during the play, so we cannot be sure what his character is actually like. He does however seem to be very self conscious and this is presumably something to do with the death of Eva. Gerald Croft is much like Sheila. He is very jolly until he is confronted by the inspector. However, the audience see him talking business with Birling. This shows that he may have ulterior motives for marrying Sheila. The inspector is extremely stern and intimidating. He is furious that Eva Smith has died and so is taking it all very seriously. In my opinion there is a fantastic variation of characters in Act 1 and they, coupled with the setting and structure of the play, create a mood that sticks for its entirety. By Daniel Henry 10 JF1 ...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 Writing to Argue, Persuade and Advise 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 Writing to Argue, Persuade and Advise essays

  1. How do H.G Wells and W.W Jacobs create tension and fear in The Monkeys ...

    animals, therefore turning your back on this, is acting tremendously selfish and ignorant of the pain and suffering of neglected animals. He then asks 'Will you give me the resources I need to fight this rising tide of cruelty?'. Here 2nd pronoun is used to capture our attention as it directly addresses us.

  2. -With detailed reference to Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, explain how ...

    add humour because references to sex were used in the Shakespearean era for it was a good way to engage the audience and get their attention, this also shows that the emotion and behaviour of men does not change through time.

  1. An Inspector Calls

    He can be very arrogant and stubborn, especially when he is being interrogated as he is used to having a high authority such as within his household or business. He can be overly confident in what he says and believes, such as when he talks about the "unsinkable" Titanic and

  2. An Inspector Call

    She said this because when they said the truth about everything it makes them nice people, but it doesn't, and she thought that they all were a nice and a perfect family, but her thoughts were wrong after she heard what everyone in her family had done.

  1. An inspecter Calls

    In his speech he discusses that a man should look after himself and your family then you can get everything you want in life and pursue your aspiration. Other wise if you don't you can get mixed up in everyone's problems which will just drag you down.

  2. Inspector Calls ********

    This is when the scene becomes powerfully set. The Birling family are all sat together at a table in the middle of the lounge and the stage directions of the 'Inspector' creates a very atmospheric surrounding. Mr Birling first starts the conversation by asking the 'Inspector' to sit down with him and have a drink of Port.

  1. inspector calls

    marry her but she refused because she knew that they did not love each other and did not want Eric to feel sympathetic towards her. Eric had stolen some money from his father's office for Eva but she didn't accept it when she found out it was stolen.

  2. The inspector calls

    He also tries to threaten him, on how powerful he is to having a connection to the Chief Constable. Eva Smith had been working for Mr Birling in his factory. Due to her being a good worker she was moved up to be a ringleader.

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