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Discuss the dramatic techniques used by Priestley to achieve a climax in the play. How does he ensure the audience remember the play's message?

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Introduction

Discuss the dramatic techniques used by Priestley to achieve a climax in the play. How does he ensure the audience remember the play's message? I have studied An Inspector Calls for my GCSE English literature coursework; here is the basic outline of the story......... An Inspector Calls was written in 1945, just after the Second World War. It is set on a spring evening in 1912. The play was written by John Boynton Priestley who was a socialite. Priestley wrote this play because he wanted to show what people really thought about the war. He wanted everyone to believe that they were all responsible for each other and that everyone should have equal chances and equal rights in their lives. He wanted to change the way rich people thought about the poor. Priestley wanted to show people that war was atrocious. He wanted to stop exploitation of the poor and working class. He had seen the problems created by the First World War still happening with the outbreak of World War Two. Priestley believed that everyone had a responsibility for their action in society. The play is about a strong family breaking up into pieces like an ice burg, breaking from a glacier, after an incident which happened later on in the play. ...read more.

Middle

This is when the room goes brighter. The inspector is described as creating 'an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness .........' he speaks carefully, weightily, and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses. The instructions he gives both are precise and demanding. Throughout the play the inspector is remained entirely controlled. He is very powerful with his speeches and his actions. When Gerald heard the name Daisy Renton he was startled. This is when the audience begins to realise all characters could be involved. Sheila and Eric were the only two characters who felt guilty and responsible for the death of Eva Smith. However the other three characters, Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and Gerald were trying to pretend as is nothing much has happened. 'I behaved badly too. I know I did. I'm ashamed of it. But now you're beginning all over again to pretend that nothing much has happened'. (Sheila) 'Nothing much has happened! Haven't I already said there'll be a public scandal - unless we're lucky........' (Birling) Later Sheila comments that no-one told the inspector anything that he did not know. 'We hardly ever told him anything he didn't know. Did you notice that?' (Dramatic Irony) Sybil learns a lot about Brumley and Alderman Meggarty, she learns about the reality of life. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final message from the inspector was 'We all are one society and being watched over'. The message of the inspector is more efficient then what he said during his other speeches. Priestley used strong words like fire, blood and anguish, which made his words more effective and useful. Priestley used italic writing to represent instructions/characters moving. I believe that the structure of the play made the message more effective because he dealt with one situation after another; he tried to confront all the characters, exception of Mrs Birling who refused to help him. This is because she was a prominent member of the Brumley women's charity organisation. She was meant to help people who needed help and instead she refused to help. This is the reason she denied helping the inspector, she would lose her position. The audience feel closer and more sympathetic to the younger characters because they think that both Sheila and Eric won't be able to communicate with their parents and that they see life differently then them. The dramatic techniques helped to engage the audience with the play by using dramatic irony, short, dramatic sentences, denial, or refusal, dramatic pauses, or silences etc, because this left the audience figuring out what happens next. Priestley's social massage was: "We are all one body" Overall I think 'An Inspector Calls' is what is known as a well-made play. 1 Sanjida Akhtar 10Fa An Inspector Calls-Coursework ...read more.

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