• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Inspector Calls essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls- Priestley's dramatic methods and how an understanding of the historical and social context might help shape the response of an audience Before the characters start talking Priestley describes the setting. The drama is set in a large suburban house in 1912: this was before the First World War and a time of prosperity for people like the Birlings and Crofts. The play was written in 1945, though; after the Second World War putting on a drama production would have been expensive which would explain why the set is reasonably simple and doesn't change between acts. As it is the relationships between the characters in the play that is the main focus the set doesn't detract from that. The Birlings are a wealthy upper middle class family and they have a house that they have made sure shows it. They also show off their money through the clothes they wear: the first time the audience sees them the characters are in evening dress. There are not many props in the set either. The champagne, port and cigars show how well off they are and there are only two other important props. ...read more.

Middle

The scenes before the inspector enters are ominous in many ways; the main topic that stands out though is Birling's references to how a scandal would ruin his chance of a knighthood. This is very important to him as a social climber, and there is a hint that if he achieved it Gerald's parents would approve of the engagement. Right before the inspector comes in Mr. Birling and Gerald are even joking about Eric causing a scandal when little do they know that he already has planted the seeds for one, they just haven't heard about it yet. The sharp ring announces the arrival and cuts through the party atmosphere bursting their bubble. When the bell goes it is late at night and unexpected which seems to clash with Mr. Birling's assumption that he knows what is going to happen. Which we know he can't. The predictions he makes are completely wrong, the point of Priestley making him incorrect is to get the audience of 1945 and post-Second World War to question his other views and beliefs. Priestley uses the audiences' historical knowledge to create dramatic irony when Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Birling shows that woman are supposed to just look beautiful and show their high status; because of this they take great care when it comes to items such as clothing. Whereas the line shows that men don't have this problem and clothes don't mean the same to them. The middle class woman are not seen as intelligent enough to discuss business and other matters with the men so instead they retire. The inspector's job is to plant socialist ideas in the viewers' head, for example 'all intertwined with our lives'. He sets these ideas up slowly but by the time he is about to leave he has built up to his final speech. '...We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other...' His speech sums up all his views and is his last attempt to win over the characters. After he has left Sheila seems to take over his role as the person trying to pass along the socialist message and then Eric helps her. This symbolises the younger generation being better and far more socially aware than their parents and that there is hope in people like Sheila and Eric to make the community stronger, so that the working-class people that Eva Smith represents don't suffer unnecessarily due to people like the Birlings and the Crofts. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Inspector Calls Essay

    This is an example of dramatic irony (something the audience understands, but the character does not). Another thing that relates to the time period in the play is the rights of workers, such as Eva Smith. It shows that in 1912 they were still not taken seriously by employers.

  2. The role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls.'

    The war would have been an even sadder issue in 1947 when the play was first shown than it is now, and one which would have made people feel uneasy and would have provoked a lot of emotions and a lot of bad memories.

  1. The Trouble with the Birlings and Gerald Croft is they Confuse Respectability with Morality ...

    and cared about the things they should, more than their own status, they would know why he is in trouble and trying to get drunk to take the pain away. Again as before, the Birlings use jokes to cover up real annoyance, or interrogations.

  2. Inspector Calls

    'That's what's more important not whether a man is a policeman or not.' This shows that if you do not except responsibility for you actions then you will not be able to learn from your mistakes. Priestley also encourages the audience to be aware that capitalism can be destructive an has many victims.

  1. An Inspector Calls Essay

    The whole play takes place in one room. Act One starts when everyone is at the dinner table and they are celebrating Sheila and Gerald's engagement. They are all dressed up for the dinner and are all very happy. The lighting is soft and romantic.

  2. The world of Amitabh Bachchan.

    seriously injured during the filming of a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar. He was in the hospital with a ruptured intestine for months, and was even close to death. He had the support and concern of his fans and the nation in general followed.

  1. An Inspecter Calls Coursework

    so we can presume she has been brought up from a 'posh', middle-class background. She is proud, but too proud; to an extent she becomes selfish. She denies a pregnant girl (Eva smith) money; simply because she used the name in her pleading (she called herself Mrs Birling).

  2. Inspector Calls

    This dramatic irony creates interest and would not be lost on the audience as they know that all of his predictions are fundamentally wrong. Indeed, Birling's overly assertive speeches would have, and still do, leave the audience with a bitter frustration at his foolish attitude.

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