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GCSE English Literature - Twentieth Century Drama "An Inspector Calls is a perfect play. It contains theatrical excitement in the thriller-like suspense of the Inspector's inquiry; it has a moral message and it is very tightly constructed." Do you a...

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Introduction

GCSE English Literature - Twentieth Century Drama "An Inspector Calls is a perfect play. It contains theatrical excitement in the thriller-like suspense of the Inspector's inquiry; it has a moral message and it is very tightly constructed." Do you agree with this statement? The play "An Inspector Calls" was written by J.B Priestly. The play is set in 1912, in the Edwardian Era, in a fictional town called Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. When Priestly wrote the play in 1945, World War II was just ending. The play is set two years before World War I, in 1912, and in the year of the Titanic. In the Edwardian Era, known as the "Golden Age" for some classes, upper and middle classes led a pleasant life. They had everything they needed and plenty of money. The upper class, which, in the play, includes Mrs Birling, Gerald Croft and his parents, Mr and Mrs Croft, were hardhearted people. The upper class owned factories and businesses and employed the middle class, like Mr Birling, to run them. The working class, like Eva Smith, were the employees who worked for many hours and little pay. ...read more.

Middle

Dramatic Irony is used by play writers to emphasise a message to their audience. It is when the audience know something that the characters do not. There are a few examples of dramatic irony in "An Inspector Calls". One of them is when Mr Birling is talking to Gerald and Eric at the beginning of the play. Mr Birling first talks about the Kaiser and war. He says "Just because the Kaiser makes a speech ... and begin talking nonsense ... people say that war is inevitable. ... I say - fiddlesticks!" This quote shows that Mr Birling does not think that we should go to war and does not agree with the Kaiser, but soon after the play was set, World War I started and then later, in 1939, World War II as well. Another example is when Mr Birling is talking about the Titanic, which was due to sail the next week, in the play. Mr Birling says "... every luxury - and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable." This quote shows that Mr Birling thinks the Titanic is the best ship and that it is incapable of sinking. It also shows that he believes what other people say. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Inspector asks questions to one character which then leads to another character. For example, Mrs Birling turned Eva Smith down from her committee (Brumley Women's Charity Organization), without knowing that Eva was pregnant with Eric Birling's baby, Mrs Birling's grandchild. The Inspector only shows the photograph of Eva Smith to Mr Birling and Shelia, but not at the same time. Gerald, Eric and Mrs Birling do not see the photograph, this is because they knew her by name, but she had several different names. She was known to Gerald as Daisy Renton whereas, Eric knew her as Eva Smith and Mrs Birling said Eva Smith called herself Mrs Birling. The audience is left to wonder why the Inspector has only shown this photograph to two people and whether or not it was the same photograph. This is another clue to the audience to show that he may not be a real Inspector. "An Inspector Calls" has been a very successful play because it is enjoyable to watch. The play holds the audience's attention because of the continuous action. The play today continues to be very popular and the moral or message Priestly tries to put across, treat people how you want to be treated, still applies to a modern audience. ...read more.

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