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An Inspector Calls - summary

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An Inspector Calls This particular play was set in 1912, on the week of the maiden voyage and sinking of the Titanic. Many techniques were used to make the play dramatic, engrossing and meaningful to the audience both back when it was fist released and also to this date. Stage directions play a huge part of any play. The stage direction provides the director with details such as position of actors, lighting, facial expressions and many more physical actions. Positions of actors, 'the four Birlings and Gerald are seated at the table', can set a mood. If the characters are sat or standing together as a group, in this case sat as a family at a table, it shows a sense friendliness and co-operation. But if the characters are spread out on the scene, it gives the audience an impression of hatred within the group. Lighting is very important as it makes the audience feel the characters feelings. 'The lighting should be pink and intimate until the inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder' is a good example of how the directors set the feelings. When the inspector arrives, it makes the characters feel uneasy and curious. Increasing and making the lighting harder builds up suspense for the audience. ...read more.


This makes the audience realise that the past can lead to present events. Then there is the discussion if the so-called Eva Smith had even been admitted to the infirmary. It comes as a shock and surprise that there has not been a suicide in months 'No girl has died in there today. Nobody's been brought in after drinking disinfectant. They haven't had a suicide in months.' This surprise turns the whole play around. The characters, especially Mr and Mrs Birling, feel as the whole evening should be forgotten, 'Well, here's to us. Come on, Sheila, don't look like that. All over now.' Yet Sheila still feels guilty for her actions 'everything we said had happened really did happened. If it didn't end tragically, then lucky for us. But it might have done.' This is dramatic for the audience because through out the whole play, no one has thought of this as a hoax. After characters have found out that there has been no suicide and the inspector was not a real policeman, Mr Birling gets a phone call. When the phone rings it makes the play engrossing because the audience wants to find out whom it is and why they have phoned so late in the night. ...read more.


The inspector is so dramatic because of his method of investigation. He talks to each character about the death in tern. He does this because he knows what happened to Eva Smith and what part the characters had to do with the suicide. Shelia is the first person to notice this 'You knew it was me all the time, didn't you?' The ending is a mystery and leaves the audience thinking. This ending takes the audience back to the beginning when the inspector arrives. It leaves us thinking whether the Inspector was some kind of sprit warning the Birlings. The supernatural quality - the idea of time- is involved in the characters and audience's thoughts. This adds to the dramatic tension of the play. I think the play was a success in making it dramatic, engrossing and meaning to the audience with all the use of these devices. I think that issues such as homelessness and refugees have changed since the play was written and set in 1914, but it still has the same affect on the audience. I think the moral in this play has some thing to do with how events can take effect on some ones life over a period of time. Think about the least fortunate then yourself and how your actions could take a massive impact on others who live and work around you. This play would challenge the audience with their moral beliefs of right and wrong. John McArthur ...read more.

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