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An Inspector Calls Analysis

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Post-1914 Drama Coursework 'An Inspector Calls' In Act One of 'An Inspector Calls' how does J.B Priestly use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the members of the audience, as well as interest and involve them in the play? 'An Inspector Calls' is set in 1912, but was written by J.B Priestly in 1945. In the play, the Titanic is a week away from it's maiden voyage - when it hit an iceberg and sank. Mr Birling, the head of the household, says that: "The Titanic...sails next week...unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable". Because of Birling's optimism, saying that there is no chance of the Titanic sinking, the audience watching in 1946 (when it was first performed) may see him as a bit ignorant. This is called dramatic irony - the audience know something that the characters don't. The audience may see him as ignorant because they know that the ship was sinkable - as it sank on it's first voyage. Some people may know people who had died on the ship, and they may be particularly affected by this dramatic device. ...read more.


This theme is also backed up by what the characters believe they 'pushed' Eva Smith into doing, such as Sheila believing that getting Eva fired caused her to kill herself. At the beginning of the play, before Inspector Goole enters, the lighting is described as "pink and intimate". This could reflect the mood of the family - they are relaxed and happy because of Sheila and Gerald's engagement. The colour pink is a 'warm' colour, and can represent love, happiness, and comfort. This colour would therefore reinforce the way the family are feeling. Alternatively, this colour could lull the audience into a false sense of security. The soft colour may make the audience think that nothing bad is going to happen. When the inspector arrives, the lighting changes to become "brighter and harder". This could represent the personality of the inspector - he is a harsh kind of person. However, it may also represent an interrogation. Interrogations are usually associated with bright lights, and this would reflect what the inspector is doing - he is interrogating the family about their relationship with Eva Smith. ...read more.


When Edna announces the arrival of the police inspector, Birling, Gerald and Eric all joke about what is going on. Gerald says, in a light voice: "Unless Eric's been up to something". He is joking about why the inspector is there, that maybe Eric has done something wrong. However, he doesn't mean this. This light heartedness - the humour and laughing - shows that they do not feel as though they have done anything wrong. Birling says: "It may be something about a warrant", which shows that he doesn't think it is anything serious. Eric, on the other hand, is unsettled by what Gerald says. He replies, in an uneasy tone of voice: "I don't think it's very funny" This may show that he thinks he has something to do with the inspector's visit - and, we later find out, he does. The "uneasy" stage direction shows that he is slightly nervous about the inspector's visit. Alternatively, he may be "uneasy" about what Gerald and Birling were saying when Eric was out of the room. The audience may pick up on this, and may be suspicious about what is going on with Eric. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Richardson-May 1 ...read more.

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