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"An Inspector Calls" is a dramatic play written by J. B. Priestley. The plot is based on a high-class family's involvement in a suicide of a low-class girl named Eva Smith.

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Introduction

"An Inspector Calls" is a dramatic play written by J. B. Priestley. The plot is based on a high-class family's involvement in a suicide of a low-class girl named Eva Smith. In this play, Priestley's main aim is to make the audience discover what's behind the mask of the high class, and also to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions. By using mystery, tension and suspense, this play becomes a thriller genre. Priestley wrote in a way that these were at maximum level all the time. As the story unfolds, the audience tries to discover which of the characters are responsible for Eva Smith's death. Just as the audience was getting tired of having discoveries, the whole play is given a violent twist so that this attracts the audience's attention. The length of sentences also reflects the pace of the actions. In the first act, long sentences and speeches are used to show the comfortable mood of the family. ...read more.

Middle

He inspected them one by one, forcing them to admit their actions. Later on, these admissions were being used against them. At first, they couldn't think that the inspector knew nothing, because he had affected them very much by his sentences which were brief but strong. He also prevented them to be affected from each other by showing the photographs to only one person each time. The way of Priestley's description of characters was so perfectly done that the audience could quickly get the idea. The inspector "gives the impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness, he stays solid and calm while the other characters brake down". Birling is described as a person who is "heavy-looking, rather portentous" and pompous. The only thing that he cares about is his money and image, which make him to look suspicious. Sheila is a girl who appreciates life in her little bubble. She is emotional so can quickly be affected by anyone stronger than her. Eric is "not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive", and is the member of family who they don't know much about. ...read more.

Conclusion

These extreme actions made the audience not to be able to think clearly, so to be totally confused. The tension was being continued with Eric's actions, with the aid of his mother's phrases. When she told the inspector that the person which made Eva Smith pregnant should be punished severely, she thought that this person was a low-class man. The realisation of this person being her son, at least made her regret her actions. The tension decreases when the characters find out that there was no inspector, and at last, they were completely relaxed. This relaxation continues until the ringing of the telephone, about an inspector on his way to question the family about a woman who killed herself. This news resets the level of the thrill once again. As the events of the play take their dramatic course and as the mood progressively changes, Priestley succeeds to create a non-stop tension during the whole play. This play could be watched more than once, because each time another thrill object could be discovered. There are many social meanings and messages embedded within the play. (Word count: 903 words) ...read more.

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