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An Inspector Calls - Discuss How the Inspectors Presence Creates Dramatic Importance

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Introduction

Using Two Scenes from Priestley's Play 'An Inspector Calls', Discuss How the Inspectors Presence Creates Dramatic Importance Written in 1945 by the Playwright J.B. Priestly, 'An Inspector Calls' is a political play set in 1912, centred around a middle class family's home. The Birling family, who live prosperously due to the success of their business, are enjoying a celebratory evening when suddenly, Inspector Goole arrives. He begins to interrogate each family member and shocks them all to reveal they all played a part in a young girl's demise to suicide. This highlights the cracks in the family's unity, as the younger family members feel their upbringing has been ignorant and they have ruined others for their own achievement. They take responsibility for their actions and are remorseful, yet the older family members remain in denial about their role in her death. Priestly has made a conscious choice when writing his play in 1945 to set it in 1912, for a number of different contextual reasons. One of Priestley's main concerns was to compare the differences between society in 1945 and in 1912. ...read more.

Middle

He uses the character Inspector Goole to heighten this, and creates him as wise and mysterious, two traits which would intrigue the audience. During the play, he and the ignorant Mr Birling continuously lock horns, as though to represent the two political sides. When describing the scene the playwrights tells us there to be a table "which has no cloth", suggesting the family want to show off their wealth and luxury, and do not care if it was to get damaged by a spill, as they can afford a new one. Mr Birling says to Gerald, his daughters fianc�, that "your father and I have been...for lower costs and higher prices", showing him as greedy. They also have their own maid, which would make the audience think back to the wealth that existed before the wars. In Act One, the dramatic importance of the Inspector's entrance is amplified by the events before he arrives. The lighting is described as "pink and intimate", showing comfort and warmth, and we are told the family are celebrating the engagement of the daughter, Shelia, to Gerald. ...read more.

Conclusion

blood and anguish", as this would to them seem like a prophecy to the two wars that were to come after this time the Inspector is saying this. It makes the audience realize this Inspector is no ordinary police officer. After the Inspector leaves, the dramatic tension declines, and the torn family begin to discuss the events and conclude there was no suicide and Inspector Goole was in fact not a real Inspector. However, Priestley makes it shoot right back up when suddenly, the play finishes on a cliff-hanger as the telephone calls and it is announced "A girl has just died - in the infirmary" "A police inspector is on his way here - to ask some questions". The effect of the Inspector's knowledge of this young girl and her suicide before it actually happens creates him as a seer of the future events, which again reminds the audience of his warning of being taught in "fire and blood and anguish" and makes the audience reflect on the meanings behind the play. The play ends leaving many questions unanswered, but making a definite imprint on his audience and really making them think. ...read more.

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