An Inspector Calls: In act one of An Inspector Calls how does J.B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the members of the audience, as well as interest and involve them in his play?
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An Inspector Calls Coursework Essay 2005 In act one of An Inspector Calls how does J.B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the members of the audience, as well as interest and involve them in his play? A traditional "whodunit" mystery reveals who the real criminal is. Inspector Calls can be addressed, as one of these mysteries however there is not a true criminal in the story, as nobody literally killed Eva Smith but the members of the Birling family all had a part to play in her death. One of the most important themes conveyed in An Inspector Calls is that we all have a responsibility for each other, and that differences in upper and lower classes should not matter. Another central theme is looking at the treatment of women, women were seen as the social "underdog" who just stayed at home, had children and did the housework in the 1930's Priestley had become very concerned with social inequality and he wants to convey the idea to the audience about this and show how this kind of inequality comes about in our everyday lives. Inspector Goole wants to teach the Birling's some morals and the Inspector is introduced as a contrast to Mr Birling, the Inspector can see Birling is passing his selfish thoughts and opinions on to his children however the Inspector wants to teach them an alternative way of thinking and behaving. Priestly uses Birling as the typical businessman who thinks only for himself and Eva smith a down trodden working class girl who has nothing Priestley wants to show and prove how people who were of lower class were mistreated by other people who thought themselves as better, the Inspector is used as like her spokesperson he wants to argue her case against the Birlings and to show them what they have done its almost as if he is here to get his won back on the Birlings as she is now not here to stick up for herself, Priestly uses the inspector to convey the socialist message to the audience.
Birling afterwards then seems to get annoyed as the Inspector asks personal questions about the way in which he runs his business. At the top of page 16 Birling then seems to get suspicious of what the Inspector is up to and asks him to repeat his name again as if he checking that he is "Real". This conveys to the audience the theme of mistaken identity and is the Inspector really who he says he is? Mr Birling's annoyed tone then stays throughout the duration of his interview "I don't see we need to tell the Inspector anything more. In fact there's nothing that I can tell him" Sheila then enters the room and Birling tries to usher her away "Nothing to do with you Sheila. Run along." Again the theme of women aren't as good as men crops up again, Birling is implying she is not to be around it's "manly" talk and the fact he uses the phrase run along implies that he still treats her like a child telling her what to do all the audience witness this. However the Inspector stops her and explains the circumstances of the enquiry and begins to tell her in graphic detail as if trying to make her feel guilty- which first makes the audience think if Sheila has something to do with the inquiry and this is when we can start realising everyone seems to have an involvement which involves the audience in the play because they are trying to suss the Birlings out just as much as the Inspector. Birlings story is then told to Sheila and she seems genuinely shocked and appalled at what has happened. Sheila begins to ask many questions about her and soon the characters find out the Inspector doesn't just want information from Birling. "You didn't come here just to see me then? No". On page 19 the Inspector begins to carry out the inquiry however we don't found out who yet he wants to talk to,
In conclusion to this play, through Act one we learn a lot about some of the characters our opinions are changed drastically from the beginning to end. With Mr Birling: he first seems like a very strong willed man who seems to be quite clever, however Preistley uses things like dramatic irony to make Birling seem very stupid and we can see as Birlings interview goes on he gets very aggravated with the Inspector and the audience can see that Birling has been "broken down". Sheila seems to be at first a very sweet and innocent character. She is engaged and seems to be very content with life however until the Inspector shows that she isn't as sweet as she seems as she got Eva Smith sacked from her job, however she seems very remorseful and sorry for her actions. Gerald also seems to be a very well established businessman, but his true identity is also revealed, the theme of mistaken identity is used which interests and intrigues the audience. His secret is revealed about his affair and it seems to bring a lot of shame on him. Audiences in 1945 would have seen this play as intriguing and interesting as it wasn't a common thing for families' secrets to be revealed everything was kept inside the family and not revealed. They probably would have seen it as a "scandal"! In 2005 we see things like this as normal everyday thing worse things happen e.g. September 11th and terrorists. In today's modern day world a lot of things are very corrupt and including the police force! So to conclude this play helps Priestley convey many thoughts and messages to the audience using many different dramatic techniques, he manages to change opinions instantly by the clever use of these techniques. The audience is drawn in and Preistley sustains interest, An Inspector Calls fits the criteria for a well-made play by effectively creating mood and tension and in my opinion is an excellent example of a very well made play!
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