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An Inspector Calls J.B. Priestley - In 'An Inspector Calls' J.B. Priestley has a message to deliver, what is this message and how does he deliver this message?

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Daniel Lainchbury 24^th June 2002 An Inspector Calls J.B. Priestley Task: In `An Inspector Calls' J.B. Priestley has a message to deliver, what is this message and how does he deliver this message? In the play `An Inspector Calls' the playwright John Boynton Priestley, uses real people in artificial situations to create the well-rounded performance, he does this so effectively because the people of the time could relate to these situations, setting and the issues raised but could also place themselves in the play with each person in the audience becoming an actors. We are constantly kept on the edge, never knowing what to expect next. He does this by using many complex dramatic devices in order to give the correct information to the audience and actors and deliver it with pinpoint timing. In this family situation the inspector is able to manipulate it by knowing the significant weaknesses and personalities of the individual family members. He shows the family cannot communicate with each other when put in a tense or uneasy situation. One of the devices he uses is the constant use of small climaxes where the audience believe they have found the major culprit then the line of enquiry jolts off into another direction this makes the play both captivating and interesting. ...read more.


The senior Birlings are the examples of the people who will be taught through "Fire and blood and anguish". This is very different to the younger generation. "You seem to have made a great impression on this child Inspector" comments Birling, and is answered with the statement "We often do on the young ones. They're more impressionable." This implies that Priestley is trying to say that there is potential for change in the "young ones" which is not as evident in the older generation. The play was set in 1912, just before World War I, but written in 1945 in the last year of World War II. Priestley served in World War I and was nearly killed twice, once by a shell and another by gas. He was strongly against war and the conditions in the trenches, he thought that sending fit young men into the trenches on the front line was cannon forded or an expendable rescores. I think this a directly symbolic to Eva Smith comparing her to the solders in the war and the way they were so wrongly treat, used, abused and forgotten. ...read more.


He wasted to show us that we can change, and we can decide which views we side with. He wanted us to ask ourselves if we wanted to be a Sheila or a Sybil, an Eric or an Arthur. Or, were we in-between like Gerald. Priestley wanted the audience to learn from the mistakes of the Birlings. I think that Priestley wanted to make a difference; not a world changing difference, but a small difference in the way people think. Then, if you think of every person who coming out of the play gave some money to a beggar in the street, you would see that Priestley did make a difference. It would have changed people's views on society, however small those changes would be, and so Priestley achieved his aims in writing the play. In the live production of the play Priestley decided not to include an interval for two main reasons. Firstly, he didn't want the audience to loose the plot or rhythm of the play and secondly because he wrote it as a `reality play' so he wanted it to be as real as possible therefore there is no time to have a break in life you have to act on your gut decisions and instincts. ...read more.

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