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How does J.B.Priestley build up the dramatic tension when trying to pinpoint who was responsible for Eva Smiths death?

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How does J.B.Priestley build up the dramatic tension when trying to pinpoint who was responsible for Eva Smiths death? In the play An Inspector Calls Act Three, the Inspector tells the Birling family, 'a girl killed herself and died a horrible death. But each of you helped to kill her. Remember that. Never forget it'. In the cause of the play the inspector shows how they all were responsible I will now examine each character in turn to figure out who was responsible for the death of Eva Smith, and how J.B.Priestley used dramatic tension to pinpoint who was responsible. The play is a about mysterious Inspector Goole, who calls unexpectedly on the Birling family. Firstly, it must be noted that the Birling Family are guilty of no actual crime, although they all have contributed to the downfall of Eva Smiths life and death. Therefore it could be said that Eva Smith was simply a victim of her class and time. The idea of the play was to make the Birling family understand that they had a moral responsibility for the death of Eva Smith, if not a legal one. This point is very significant of the entire play. J.B.Priestley begins the play by introducing the characters to the audience. They are celebrating Sheila Berling's engagement to Gerald Croft who is also present when the inspector arrives; telling them a young girl named 'Eva Smith' has just committed suicide. ...read more.


again to anyone'. This is the turning point of Sheila life. Sheila changes from a rather naive and ignorant lady into a person who can fully understand the inspector message and see that he is right. She is the person who becomes the inspectors ally when the inspector questions everyone else e.g. When she was trying to persuade Mrs. Birling not to build a wall and deny her involvement . Gerald seems to have nothing to do Eva Smith's death at the beginning, but clues are given away, when he was so anxious to see the picture of eve smith. 'I would like to see the photograph now, inspector'. Tension is shown here in the play again when the inspector replies 'all in good time' .We then know later that Gerald had a affair with Daisy Renton (Eva Smith after a name change). When Sheila speaks to him about Eva and finds out the truth, he get very worried and embarrassed, and thinks of the consciences, what happens if the whole family finds out the truth? He then tries to act as if it never happened, and try's to persuade Sheila that she doesn't have anything to do with Eva's death either, to make him feel happy rather than guilty this is shown at the end of act 1: Gerald- you don't. ...read more.


he returned, and when he did come back he was on Sheila's parent's side rather that then hers even though he didn't agree with them. When the whole story about Eva Smith is shown to be untrue, she is able to believe that the whole story was a joke, and is 'most grateful..' to Gerald for showing her that the Inspector was not real. Mrs. Birling not only shows that she has not changed at all in her opinions at the end of the play but she shows very little sign of wavering from it during the play either. In the plot of An Inspector Calls, the characters respond to the message that they are given by the Inspector in different ways. Sheila and Eric fully understand the idea that, as the Inspector says. Birling and Mrs. Birling stubbornly cling to their beliefs and Gerald also comes out on their side, although this could be a result of him trying to make the elder Birlings happy with himself. The play is still popular after 54 the play are still relevant today. This is due to the fact that people still think more about themselves and their family than about how they affect others. Unfortunately, it is the people with the money who rule the country. The only way that this can change is if the attitudes of generations are changed. And this is difficult. An inspector calls Abdullah ...read more.

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