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Consider the ways in which Priestley's portrayal of Inspector Goole an the way in which he carries out his investigation of the Birling family and Gerald Croft create dramatic interest?

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Introduction

An Inspector Calls By J.B Priestley Consider the ways in which Priestley's portrayal of Inspector Goole an the way in which he carries out his investigation of the Birling family and Gerald Croft create dramatic interest? 'An inspector calls' was written in 1945 by J.B Priestley. The play is set in 1912 and centres on Arthur Birling, a prosperous manufacturer and his family, who are celebrating the engagement of their daughter, when they are suddenly and dramatically interrupted by the arrival of the police inspector. The inspector, investigating the suicide of a young working-class woman, uncovers each of the family's shameful secrets that link them with the young girl and her death. Priestley was a strong believer in socialism, opposing capitalism which exploits and degrades the working classes to benefit the rich. Priestley believed that whether we acknowledged it or not, we are all part of one big community and have the responsibility to look after everyone else, no matter who they are or what their status is. In 'An inspector calls' Priestley tries to highlight these beliefs and educate the audience on how they should treat one another. This message was particularly effective to the audiences of 1946 as, weary from the Second World War they were looking for change. The Inspector's quote of 'Fire, blood and anguish' refers to the 1st and 2nd World Wars, would have had great emotional impact on the audience and caused them to think more deeply into the play and Priestley's message. During the Second World War social classes were forced to mix, children were evacuated to where was safest and not according to class, all young men were forced to mix in the Trenches and on the Front Line, the women left at home were forced to all work in the factories together, all of this causing friendships and relationships between different social classes to be formed. ...read more.

Middle

Inspector: 'Your not telling the truth.' Mrs Birling: 'I beg your pardon!' Birling: (angrily to Inspector) 'Look here, I'm not going to have this, Inspector. You'll apologise at once.' The use of the photograph is a clever one, it aids Mr and Mrs Birling in remembering the girl, creates tension and anger between characters that aren't allowed to see the photograph, causes Sheila to run off upset and distressed and anger that the inspector has upset her and then later anger when Mrs Birling tries to lie about recognising the girl. The Inspector also uses graphic detail as a shock tactic to shock the Birlings and Gerald into admitting their guilt and their involvement in the girls suicide. From the very first moment the Inspector enters the Birling house, he puts this tactic into action. After first introducing himself he reveals the shocking revelation that a young girl has just died, Inspector: 'Id like some information, if you don't mind, Mr Birling. Two hours ago a young woman died in the Infirmary. She'd been taken there this afternoon because she'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant. Burnt her inside out of course' This shocks Mr Birling instantly Mr Birling: '(involuntarily) My God!' Inspector: 'Yes, she was in great agony. They did everything they could for her at the infirmary, but she died, suicide of course' This revelation adds dramatic tension and draws the reader in. What happened? Why? What has this got to do with the Birling family? Are all questions the audience will be asking themselves. Priestley has done this purposely, he could have just said, 'Id like some information, if you don't mind Mr Birling. A young girl has died tonight, suicide, and I am here to find out why' but instead he adds heavy description of the 'strong' disinfectant that she drank, which 'burn her inside out'. He could have course stopped there, but instead carried on to describe the great agony in which she died and how nothing could be done for her. ...read more.

Conclusion

and Eric, who begin to change their attitudes, were as Mr & Mrs Birling and Gerald quickly lapse back into their old attitudes and ways. The Inspector abrupt departure, like his sudden arrival leaves the characters feeling shocked and stunned at what has just happened and in a n almost dream like state, wondering if it was real. This is probably why some (not all) of the characters are so quick to jump at the idea that it was all a trick and the Inspector was not an inspector. Through-out the play the Inspector adds to the tension and atmosphere. His arrival just as Mr Birling has made his (morally wrong) opinions known; this right from the start of the play supplies the audience with a dramatic irony that focuses their interests on the play and the characters. Even the atmosphere changes when the Inspector arrives, the light-hearted, happy diner party atmosphere disappears and is replaced with a harsh, truthful atmosphere. His looks and manner towards the other characters, creates tension as he isn't afraid to contradict or be rude to them even though they are his social superiors. He is or need not be a small man but however creates an impression of massiveness and of purposefulness; this comes across in the whole atmosphere he creates. He uses many tactics such as the photograph and graphically detailed descriptions to shock both the audiences and the characters. By shocking the audience he can best get across his moral warning and by shocking the other characters he can best get them to open up to him and admit their wrongs. The Inspectors overall approach to the investigation is totally irregular, which creates dramatic interest and in some points emotional conflicts which create tension and keep the audiences attention. But even after he has left, he is still creating interest and tension as the characters try to decide whether or not he was a real inspector and in fact whether or not he was actually real. ...read more.

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