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"An Inspector Calls" - looking into the Inspector's character, the author and the setting of the play

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Introduction

An Essay on the Play "An Inspector Calls" This is an essay about "An Inspector calls" by John Boynton Priestly. I shall be particularly looking into the Inspector's character but I shall also talk about the author and the setting of the play. John Boynton Priestly was born in Bradford in 1894. He served in the infantry in the Great War where he suffered many close escapes. After the war John attended the University of Cambridge. He worked as a newspaper critic and wrote about a number of subjects including his dislike of materialism and mechanisation in society. Priestly also had strong socialist views and thought all people in all lines of work should be paid the same, equal wage. He wrote a number of plays including "Dangerous Corner" (1932), and "Dragon's Mouth" (1952). His well known play, "An Inspector Calls" was written in 1946. His wife was an English archaeologist and writer. He declined the offer of a knighthood and was awarded the Order of Merit from Elizabeth II in 1977. He died in 1984 aged 90 years old. The main characters in "An Inspector Calls" are the Birling family who are comfortably in the higher social classes and live in a smart Sub-urban house on the outskirts of Brumley. ...read more.

Middle

For example, he knows that Gerald has had an affair with Eva Smith but shows no knowledge of this. He arrives at the Birling's house in search of the person or persons responsible for the death of Eva Smith. The Inspector behaves as if he already knows who is the main offender in the death of Eva Smith. He has an almost supernatural feel and demands respect when he enters a room. He creates an atmosphere of power and command. The Inspector is a very smart character and obviously makes the other characters, except Mrs Birling, very uncomfortable. He believes everyone is responsible for everyone else and this is reflected in his dialogue. "Inspector: She was still Eva Smith when Mr Birling sacked her for wanting twenty five shillings a week instead of twenty two and six." The Inspector particularly blames Mr Birling for her suicide and is always referring to her being sacked from his works. "Inspector: Because what happened to her then may have determined what happened to her afterwards and what happened to her afterwards may have driven her to suicide" "Inspector: ...Yes, Why did you refuse "Inspector: Why should you do any protesting!? It was you who turned the girl out in the first place!" ...read more.

Conclusion

He had the affair with Eva Smith when she was going under the name Daisy Renton. When the Inspector mentions this name he is shocked and stunned. He immediately gives away that he knew a girl by the name of Daisy Renton. The Inspector (who already knows of Gerald's involvement) and Sheila notice this. Gerald is obviously upset by the Inspector and becomes quite distressed. The Inspector has a certain respect for Gerald because he took Eva in out of kindness and not lust, like Eric. The main factors for a dramatic performance of "An Inspector Calls" should be the lighting and music. The lighting before the Inspectors unexpected arrival should be soft and warm. Colours such as pinks and reds should be used to create a "cosy" atmosphere. When the inspector arrives the lighting should be hard and bright. White light should always surround the Inspector giving an idea of superiority. Any music before the Inspector enters the scene should be quiet and flowing. When he arrives it should be sharp and loud. The music must sound unfriendly and echo the Inspectors voice to give the idea that the Inspector is supernatural and strange. The actors should try to look as if they do not want to be close to him and linger together in pairs except Mr Birling who should look confident and full of himself. Tom Baggley 10H1 An Inspector Calls Tom Baggley ...read more.

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