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An Inspector Calls - Priestley's use of dramatic techniques.

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H.W 11/11/02 An Inspector Calls This play 'The Inspector Calls' is set in Edwardian times but was written in 1945, which was just after the Second World War. The main message of the play is be careful how you treat others and that you should learn from your mistakes. If you do not learn from your mistakes again and again there will be dire consequences. The main character in this play is Mr Birling, he is the complete opposite of J.B Priestley because Birling is a capitalist and Priestly has socialist views. Before the part of the play I have been studying the inspector has just said his speech about fire, blood and anguish. One of the main reasons J.B Priestley wrote this play was because he was enraged with capitalism. When Priestley was travelling the country he saw what the industrialists had done to Britain's countryside. Another point that was incorporated in the play was that women were not treated fairly compared to men and Priestley found this unacceptable. One other point that was put into the play was that any system that let the disadvantaged poorer people in this world live along side the wealthy, privileged people had serious flaws. ...read more.


Under that line there are stage directions telling the actors to look 'inquiringly' at Gerald. This is dramatic because the audience wonder what Gerald is about to say. As Gerald is muttering Mr. Birling picks up on Gerald knowing something. 'You know something. What is it? Before this sentence there are stage directions telling the actor to say the sentence 'excitedly'. 'That man wasn't a police officer' is a key sentence in the play because it changes the atmosphere to a happier more positive one. This sentence is a very dramatic sentence because the audience's initial reaction is to gasp. Many questions go through the audience's minds such as, how would Gerald know and why would someone pretend to be a police officer? To add to the drama there are stage directions telling the actor to say the sentence 'slowly'. The actor also leaves gaps between some words, which make it dramatic because the audience are gripped waiting to hear the next word. After this announcement the Birlings build up the positive atmosphere more and more, making excuses to try to get out of trouble. A very tense moment in the play is when Mr. Birling is about to ring up the Chief Constable to make certain about the inspector. ...read more.


Near the end of the play Sheila takes on the role of the Inspector trying to make them realize that it is no joke and she brings up a very important little speech that the Inspector said just before he left. Sheila tells her parents and Gerald that if they did not learn then they must take the consequences in 'fire, blood and anguish.' As Gerald, Mr. Birling and Mrs. Birling are celebrating, a phone call comes through. Mr. Birling is speaking to the person on the line and puts the phone down. The next few minutes of the play are most exiting and dramatic. Mr. Birling looks dumbfounded as he explains that there is a police inspector coming to ask the family some questions. In the last sentence there are a lot of pauses between words, which makes it dramatic because the audience just want him to get to the point. The last word Mr. Birling says before the phone call is 'joke'. This is important because he should not treat issues like this as a joke and this is ironic because when he least expects it he is shocked and it is definitely not a 'joke'. J.B Priestly has done a very good job of making this play dramatic, he uses many good techniques. ...read more.

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