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Analyse how Priestley uses the Inspector to create tension and suspense in 'An Inspector Calls'.

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Introduction

Analyse how Priestley uses the Inspector to create tension and suspense in 'An Inspector Calls' The play was set in the spring of 1912. At this time there was a rigid class system. There were three main types of classes, they consisted of: Lower class, middle class and upper class. There were huge social differences, almost the whole wealth of Britain was owned by a very small percentage of the upper class. The upper class usually consisted of rich businessmen and people born in to wealth. The middle classes were usually successful businessmen never to say the least. The lower class were usually factory workers; servants etc. who were trying to scrape enough money together to stay alive. During the war the class system was not in place. Classes combined to fight in the war, no matter what their social status maybe - for the first time people were equal, and there was no superior. Priestley was a socialist in his time, unlike most of the people around that time who were only interested in monopolising and individual gain. Priestley believed that wealth should be shared and that the Government should control industry. ...read more.

Middle

The inspector wanted Mr. Birling to pay the average wage to his lower class workers. He wanted Sheila to learn to control her anger and more significantly not to take it out on other people. The inspector wanted Gerald and Eric to become responsible for their relationships both sexually and otherwise with women. He wanted Mrs Birling to have respect for the working class and not to abuse her position on the charity that was intended to help women in distress. The inspector wants them all to change their attitudes but in doing so for the better. They have all abused their high social statuses for the benefit of themselves than others. Towards the end of the evening the inspector eventually told us that she didn't just end her own life was but, also Eric's child. This is a shock revelation; this throws the audience and family back and a lot of tension and is suspense is built up. Although before this is announced Priestley uses the clever use of dramatic irony, he allows Mrs. Birling to implicate her own son. A lot of tension is created between Eric and Mrs. Birling. Another example of tension created between characters is between Eric and Mr. Birling. . ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension and suspense builds up all they way until the very end of the play, taking a new twist leaving the family and audience stunned. This amazing ending leaves the audience and presumably the family wondering - who was this 'Inspector Goole' and how did he know the information that he did? A well-written play by Priestly making his points clear, capturing the audience of the time's imagination and need for change. Priestley was very successful at creating tension and suspense throughout the play. He creates tension by driving the audiences craving to find out whom, was responsible for motivating Eva to her suicide. The constant emphasis on the need for the Birling's and Gerald to accept social responsibility - also the constant need for change in Britain. A play written at the right time, to get out his urgency for a better Britain. All the time he raises the audience's suspense by leaving the audience hanging at the end of each act. He uses climaxes throughout the play to leave the audience wanting more and more. A completely twisted ending which leaves myself and the audience stunned. This amazing play all carefully plotted by a superb writer. Antony Seddon 10E6/10DB ...read more.

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