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An inspector Calls GCSE Literature

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Coursework Explain how Priestley in 'An Inspector Calls' 13/7/09 uses the tragic death of Eva Smith to expose the misuse of power in society in 1912 It is 1946 the Second World War has just finished and the world is reeling from 70 million deaths. The world has changed and Priestley is presenting a play about how everything was before in 1912. Priestley is about to bring to light the shocking truth of Britain's class divide, the misuse of power in pre war Britain and society's responsibility to ensure that the changes wrought by the war are not replaced by the past. In pre-war Industrial Britain the Birlings of this world were in control of everything, from the factories to the government. The upper and middle classes had a complete stranglehold on the nation; they set the pay, they decided who got work, and also chose how long or hard the work was. Priestly confirms this throughout his play, an example would be "perhaps we may look forward to the time when Cofts and Birlings are no longer competing but working together for lower costs and higher prices" this is a clear cut example. ...read more.


For example the inspector can decide who he wants in the room "then I would prefer you stay" to Gerald page 13.The stage directions also indicate that the actor should deliver this line "gravely" he is both controlling the tone and which characters the play focuses on (Gerald). The Inspector also in some senses resembles Priestly himself, he often criticises the unjust way Eva is treated. For example "there are a lot of young women living that sort of existence in every city and big town in the country, Miss Birling if there wasn't factories and warehouses wouldn't know where to look for cheap labour. Ask your father." This is a clear 'dig' at society and Mr Birling, a view that would almost certainly be shared by Priestley. Another interesting link is the way in which the inspector and Birling are similar, they both are very strong characters with a lot of influence and strong opinions, one being an Inspector and the other a wealthy upper-class business man involved in politics and with a potential knighthood. However, they are at complete odds with each other with utterly different views on society, this could very well represent the old and the new school of thinking from Birling representing 1912 "a man has to mind his own business and look after his own" and the inspector 1946 "we don't live alone. ...read more.


Plan - Remember importance of stage directions - Remember dramatic irony for example Birlings prediction about the war. - Tone - Inspector controls pace and tension - Patriarchal (male authority) - Timing is important for example inspector entering after the how a Birlings talk about how "a man must look after ones own" - THE ENDING - Themes main theme is responsibility, -Inspectors warning to the audience "And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, when they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." - Collective responsibility - Different forms of power - STATUS - Links in society - Relevance of names inspector Goole , ghoul / ghost not all it seems - Society then and now - Eva smith vs Shelia (juxtaposes) - Money and wealth - Women then and now - Character and action - CONTEXT - Dramatic devices and structure - Language and ideas - Layers of meaning in language - Insight more than understanding - Sophisticated response - original - Links to writer - Similarities between characters for example Birling and inspector similar but complete opposites. - Age - the same year that the Titanic sank ?? ?? ?? ?? By Chris Edwards 11JJA 1 ...read more.

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