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Dramatic structures and devices in An Inspector Calls

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Dramatic structures and devices in An Inspector Calls The play opens on a luxurious and beautifully decorated dining room, its in here that we are introduced to the Birlings and Gerald Croft, all of them are successful and very rich. The room is bright and the atmosphere is happy and cheerful as they are having a party to celebrate the engagement of Sheila Birling, a young and na�ve woman. On the large wooden dining table there are lavish and succulent foods spread across it. The fabulous decor, tender foods and silverware are representational to the Birling's wealth. Mr. Birling (presumed head of the family) is a loud, self-loving and pathetic man; this point is made clearly to the audience with his self-confident speeches and ridiculously inaccurate presumptions. For example, he mentions that the glorious liner the Titanic will never sink. Mrs. Birling a very manipulative and devious woman who believes her morals are right, even though we know this is not true. Her personality is very obvious to an audience when the inspector questions her about the suicide of Eva Smith. We then have Sheila Birling, the youngest of the Birlings. She is sophisticated and has class although has very little experience with the 'real world'. And the last of the Birlings is Eric, he is a loser in some respects, he may be rich and in a sense successful but he lacks class and posture, this is because of his alcohol problem which his frowned upon by his family. ...read more.


Birling will be wearing an elegant evening gown with lots of golden necklaces which represents of her love for money. Then we will have Sheila dressed in a beautiful red dress, symbolic of her love to Gerald. Eric would be dressed in a smart dinner suit like his father's. He will have his hair un-styled and messy and have a bottle of spirits in his hard through the duration of play to show he is an alcoholic. And finally Gerald, young and handsome. He would be wearing a slick and stylish suit and tie to show he has class and a thing for the ladies. When Inspector Goole arrives at the Birling house the happy music in the background will stop and the happy atmosphere will be drained away as he walks around. The inspector will be wearing a white suit and hat and have pale skin and dark eyes to make his appearance more surreal and ghostly. In act two the tension in the Birling house begins to increase greatly, the inspector is pressuring the Birlings and Gerald to tell their story of how and when they met Eva Smith. At first they deny any knowledge of the girl, but as the play goes on the Inspector manages to show that they all helped kill her. ...read more.


They regret what they did even though Eva Smith is not really dead. The make a comparison between Sheila and Eric to the rest of their family I would have both parties standing in 'opposition with each other' telling one other their feelings. As Mr. Birling approaches the study door to give the inspector 'a piece of his mind' he is interrupted by a phone call. The lights dim and the dramatic music begins to play again. Mr Birling picks up the phone and stares blankly into the audience. Says thank you to the caller and hangs up. His family all wait around him in high anticipation... "a young woman has just been brought to the infirmary, an inspector is on his way." All the Birlings and Gerald rush to the study swing open the door to find and empty room. The inspector has gone. At this point I would have chilling and ghostly music playing at the point where an empty chair is placed stationary in the centre of the room. This horrifies the Birlings and Gerald; suddenly the play ends with a very cruel 'cliff-hanger'. In summary, An Inspector Calls details the differing attitudes of the Birling family to the events leading to Eva Smith's death and how they accept the responsibility for their actions. The older characters are too rigid to change but the younger ones are able to see their faults and accept what they have done is wrong. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Melvyn Churchill 10A/Q ...read more.

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