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Choose two characters from the play and with careful analysis of relevant sections of the play, show how Priestly wants us to react to them in different ways.

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Choose two characters from the play and with careful analysis of relevant sections of the play, show how Priestly wants us to react to them in different ways. J.B Priestly, through the use of language, dramatic devices and other literary techniques, manipulates the audience's response to the characters of: Mr Arthur Birling, The Inspector and Sheila. By exploring and criticising the social system of when the play is set, Priestly puts across the socialist moral of the play; and this message is what ultimately defines the characters views at its conclusion. There are two major contrasting views each represented by a central character; The Inspector, who acting like the mouthpiece for Priestly, portrays his socialistic views and Mr Birling, his moral rival, who represents the opposing capitalistic views of the era. Through the use of language and dialogue, Priestly manipulates the audience's response to these views by who gives them and the way in which they do so. Mr Birling's display of his beliefs occurs prior to The Inspector's arrival, here Priestly uses dramatic irony and historical reference to great effect, imbedding the image of Birling as a pompous, egotistical, fool. Last month just because the miners came on strike, there's a lot of talk about possible labour trouble in the near future. Don't worry. We've passed the worst of it...The worlds developing so fast that it'll make war impossible... ...read more.


He speaks carefully, weightily, and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking." The audience feel in awe of his commanding presence and the authority of his words that leads to the confession of every single Birling family member and Gerald. As play progresses the balance of power that Priestly has created, shifts, from Birling at the start, to the Inspector at the end, which only adds to the growing respect of The Inspector amongst the audience. Arthur Birling on the other hand is far more agitated and has a very little patience with The Inspector or anyone else that speaks against him. Throughout most the play he responds "angrily" and "impatiently" with most of what is said. After the Inspectors departure he is the first to place blame on someone else. His use of euphemisms also leads the audience to have far less respect than for him as he unlike the inspector, he wants to cover up what has happened rather than admit to it. Dramatic devices such as lighting greatly affect the overall mood of the scene. At the start of the play the lighting is pink and soft, like veil covering the deeds of the family, the light in which Birling is shown at his most comfortable. But then it changes upon the inspector's arrival, to a much harsher glare, foreshadowing the interrogations that follow and how everything will be laid before him to judge clearly, there are no more false pretences to hide behind now. ...read more.


Her newfound impression of her parents and Gerald has led her to openly defy their judgements and with The Inspectors help she has turned from the seemingly na�ve and childlike girl to the grown woman who begins to try and convince the family they committed terrible deeds. Her calling Mr Birling, "Father" instead of "Daddy" shows this. Her use of language is far more adult and almost resembles the harsh blunt tone of the Inspector himself. On the other hand, the audience feel a greater sense of anger and animosity towards Mr Birling as he seems to have learnt nothing from the whole experience and quickly convinces himself it was all a hoax, his constant blaming of other people and apparent acceptance of Gerald's affair, and moreover the general lack of sympathy he feels for Eva's plight, lead him to be, in the eyes of the audience, the single most loathed and abhorred character in the entire play. Priestly explores the Social System of the Edwardian era and with Eva Smith as a metaphor for the working class, criticizes it for its unfairness. The Inspector, apparently outside this system is able to break it down and it is that causes such a rift between the Birling's and eventually leads to the change within Sheila. Priestly conveys his message through the play by using language; stage directions, exits and entrances to react get the audience to react to different characters in different ways. In particular the Inspector and Mr Birling, who represent the Social and Capitalist struggle of Priestley's time. ...read more.

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