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"How does J.B Priestley end each act on a note of high drama?"

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English essay: "How does J.B Priestley end each act on a note of high drama?" Introduction The play starts off with the setting of an apparently normal family, the Birlings. They are celebrating Sheila Birling's engagement to Gerald Croft , the son of Mr Birling's friendly business rival. At first it appears as though nothing is wrong until an Inspector appears from seemingly no-where ,claiming to be investigating the suicide of a young girl. From this point on the tension in the play builds as one by one the characters are interogated by the Inspector.The highest points of tension are at the end of each of the three acts and Priestley does this in a number of different ways. Act one One of the first things Priestley does to set the scene would be the lighting.At first it would be bright and cheerful ,with colours such as white,yellow and pink.But as the play goes on and reaches the climax the lighting changes and thus does the mood of the audience. It is Birling's speech in Act 1 that sets the scene for the action in the play. ...read more.


This leaves the audience desperate to find out what Gerald has been doing with this girl who they know so little about so far, other than she was working in one of Mr.Birling's factories.Priestly did this to keep the audience interested and wanting more details of Gerald's involvement with Daisy Renton. Act 2 During this Act the audience's thirst for knowledge over the affair between Daisy Renton and Gerald is quenched for the most part but there is still some detail that is not found out till later. By this point in the play the lighting and mood have been lowered considerably to show the evidence that all is not well. As the Act draws to a close it appears as though it is Mrs.Birling's turn to stand trial before the Inspector,who by now is beginning to arouse suspicions amongst the characters and the audience. It is very noticeable that his manner and tone are not that of a police inspector and it is curious still that Birling ,who knows the Chief Constable very well has not heard of this Inspector. ...read more.


Priestley left the viewers in this state to once again make them want to come back eager for more and also to maintain the feeling of a"whodunnit?" series into the play.The inspector seems to be working his way systematically through all the characters and one has the feeling that at the end he could almost finish with an "Agatha Christie" style climax. Act 3 Now the play is in its final stages and nearing its climax. Eric's return at the beginning of Act 3 is greeted with fury by Birling, who bitterly tells him that "you're the one I blame for this," and is joined by Mrs Birling, who is "also ashamed," of him. This throws Eric into a wild rage in which he shouts at his mother for turning help away from Eva Smith when she needed it most. Birling dismisses Eric as a "hysterical young fool." After Eric is "interviewed" by the Inspector, he admits to having had an affair with Daisy Renton. As the end of the play nears, the Inspector gives a final speech about how they are all to blame for Eva Smith/Daisy Renton's death and that they will never forget it.The Inspector's final speech makes a point about responsibility. ...read more.

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