• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


Analyse how Priestly uses the inspector to create tension and suspense in 'An Inspector Calls. J.B. Priestly wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945. It is set in 1912, two years before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was written about a time when there was a great divide between the 'haves' and 'have nots' (the rich and the poor). The Birlings, the main family in the play, are considered to belong to the better off, the rich part of society at the time. Normally, this would influence the way that people addressed and spoke to them, and the way that they themselves thought they could treat people. This is shown throughout in the play, with the way the family try to influence the Inspector. As soon as the Inspector enters, there is an instant atmosphere. He is created by J.B Priestly to 'create at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness'. This gives the audience the impression that he has great authority in the play, and is a man not to be messed with. When he enters, he does not seem friendly, just professional. Mr Birling: 'Have a glass of port...' ...read more.


The Inspector is abrupt and forceful, allowing the audience to think that the inspector knows more about this family than he is letting on, and the involvement they had in Eva Smith's suicide. As the Inspector is quite forceful with his words, this makes Mr Birling confess his connection to the girl. This causes tension within the audience and the family, and also leads to confusion and accusations. 'Is that why she committed suicide?' This shows that the Inspector has caused a rift between the family, and has unsettled the closeness that the family was feeling earlier in the evening. The Inspector causes a divide between the children and their parents, which then carries on throughout the length of the play. Mr Birling tries to patronise the Inspector again. '[Chief of police]. Perhaps I ought to warn you he is an old friend of mine.' This leads the audience to believe that Mr Birling is quite nervous, and is obviously feeling guilty because he is trying to frighten the inspector with authority. The Inspector never shows the picture of the supposed Eva Smith to more than one person at a time, and always conceals it in his coat pocket. ...read more.


He knows that she will feel the most guilt, as she is the youngest in the family, and the most impressionable. 'You're partly to blame'. He talks with an abrupt tone, making it seem worse and deepening her guilt over what happened to the girl. To conclude, J.B. Priestly uses a variety of different ways to create tension and suspense throughout the entire play. As the play was written after the war but set before it, the writer had hindsight of the events of war. Perhaps he wanted to write about what could have happened if people had not come together as one for the war, and what the world would have turned into with a great social rift dividing those with and without money. The Inspector himself is very suspicious, even his name, Goole pronounced Ghoul, could be a metaphor meaning he is not what he says he is. The Inspector seems to have a sense of hindsight throughout the play, letting the audience believe that in someway he was involved with the victim, perhaps in a spiritual way. He quotes the Bible. 'We are members of one body'. This makes the audience believe that he is a manifestation of the Lord, or some sort of messenger warning them about the future, and the consequences they could face for their actions. . Holly Waterman 11E ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. How Does JB Priestly Create Tension?

    The audience can also perceive how the characters react to the photo, and to themselves, as a further indication of the personality of the character, and their involvement in the suicide of the girl. Subtle hints given by Priestley also play a part in producing atmosphere and tension.

  2. How does Priestley create tension in the play through characterisation, structure and atmosphere?

    when Mr Birling thought that neither he nor any of his family members could cause such a dramatic scene in somebody's life like that. The play has a lot of atmosphere about it, just for the start the title of the play, why would an inspector call at the home of such a high class family?

  1. Analyse how Priestly uses the inspector to create tension and suspense in 'An Inspector ...

    Eva holds fast to principles. She does not become a prostitute at any stage in her life. She does want to marry Eric after she has found out she is pregnant because she knows he is not in love with her and that it would ruin his social status.

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

    He is telling the audience exactly what the inspector is against. As though to reinforce this point the inspector arrives just as Mr. Birling is concluding his lecture to Gerald and Eric. The inspector's presence on the stage was intended to be a powerful one.

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

    The Inspector is a key character in the play because he creates tension and conflict between the other characters throughout the play. The Inspector shares Priestley's views of socialism. He represents the characters consciences. He also represents the lower class, Priestly and other socialists.

  2. An inspector calls - tension and suspense

    I think that Arthur Birlingis a person who is trying to be someone else, e. g. he married his social superior. Mrs Birling (Sybil) is described as being 'a rather cold woman', which I agree with entirely as she has a superior attitude towards everyone.

  1. How does Priestly create suspense and tension at the end of act 2 of ...

    they only became partners because of their family's similar wealth and social status. Gerald is a businessman and a member of a family with higher social class than the Birling's. He is like Mr. Birling in many ways, immediately trying to hide his involvement with Eva.

  2. How does Priestly create dramatic tension within these extracts?

    After Sheila's wallowing, the Inspector cuts in sharply with the harsh reality the characters have got to face. He repeats this throughout the play, continuously trying to place their lives in reality and present the consequences of their actions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work