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Discuss the popularity of the play "An inspector calls" focus on characterisation, structure and dramatic qualities.

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Introduction

Discuss the popularity of the play "An inspector calls" focus on characterisation, structure and dramatic qualities. An inspector calls by John Boynton Priestley was written in 1945 and is based around the Birling family, and their involvement in the death and downfall of Eva Smith. The play is set in the industrial town of Brumley in 1912 before the outbreak of the First World War. An inspector calls has proven its popularity as it has been show in theatres across the world for over fifty years, it is also going on a 25 week tour of England and Scotland in 2003. The play has been extremely popular, as it has won nineteen major theatre awards in London and New York. The play was first shown in 1945, it is a popular detective play, although it doesn't fall into the whodunit genre. As there isn't a murder that is arrested at the end of the play, it is meant to show the audience the errors of their ways and how destructive social class is. The play is also based on morality plays of the late medieval times. ...read more.

Middle

The inspector introduces a moral aspect to the play this makes him different to an ordinary police officer. He is more concerned with the difference between right and wrong than what is legal or not. The inspector has a very abrasive nature, he is more concerned about truth and justice than social conventions. The inspector represents the character's conscience this brings the audience closer to the minds of the characters and into the play. J.B Priestley has brought another style into the play, this is typical of the morality plays of the late middle ages, these plays were to show the audience the condition of man. Priestley brings a religious element into the play, the need for goodness and temptation of evil. This is shown as each of the characters suffer from one of the seven deadly sins (pride, sloth, gluttony, envy, covetousness, lust and anger). I think that Priestley intended the audience to take a modern moral from the play about the horrors of war. Eva Smith / Daisy Renton brings a mysterious edge to the play, this creates intrigue. She never appears on stage and the audience never finds out her real name, but the play revolves around the last two years of her life. ...read more.

Conclusion

J.B Priestley used this play to show his audience his views on society and its destructiveness. He used views of typical archetype woman (Mrs Birling) this shows that many people in this era deliberately blinded themselves to the world around them. He confronts the stereotype that women should not become pregnant outside of marriage and that they should not be rejected by society. J.B Priestley uses the seven deadly sins in each of the character's personalities, he uses moral issues, this gives the audience something to relate to and this in turn makes the play more popular. The play shows how high society were na�ve and wrong, however this message has become less over the years as the audiences have differed. The audiences in 1945 were straight out of war and instead of Mr Birling's message "look after yourself" were disregarded, as people wanted to look after each other. I think that J.B Priestley used this play as a reminder not to go back to the way things were before, all of these facts relate to how the audience felt at the time this gives us an insight into peoples attitudes and how they have changed. This has boosted the popularity of the play over the fifty years it has been shown at theatres around the world. Catherine Lowther 10M ...read more.

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