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How does J.B Priestly create dramatic tension in Act 1 of "An Inspector Calls"?

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Introduction

How does J.B Priestly create dramatic tension in Act 1 of an inspector calls In the play "An Inspector Calls" J.B Priestly creates dramatic tension by using techniques like stage directions, conflict between characters and dramatic irony this creates controversy. It was written in 1946 at post world war 2 it was a time when division between rich and poor was reduced by equality of death in ww2. He deliberately set the play in 1912 a time of tension, conflict and because of rigid class and gender boundaries seemed to ensure nothing would change this is because of the 1912 war mongering. Most of his work contains controversial, politically charged messages. At this time Britain was at the peak of the Edwardian capitalism and Priestly being socialist himself may have written the play as propaganda for socialism. This has a reference to Eva Smith in the as she is classed as an average worker who was given a minimum wage and asked for a raise. At the start of the play the audience is greeted by this happy sense everything seems to be fine. ...read more.

Middle

Of course he knows. And I hate to think how much he knows that we don't know yet "and Priestley informs us that this leaves Gerald 'crushed'. This shows how powerful he is and the effect he has on the character. The Inspector's one word question 'Well?' at the end of the Act raises the Inspector's position of someone who is an all-knowing inquisitor he just expects them to confess. This adds to our sense of mystery as to where the Inspector has got so much detailed knowledge from. We also see that in a strange way Sheila is beginning to identify with the Inspector's point of view. She realises it is pointless to lie to him. Eric at this point is acting edgy and nervous he can't explain why he starts laughing at random times. We see Priestley create a division between the young and old in the play and as a result of this there is conflict between their differing ideas. The younger generation are more tolerant and open. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the 1930s he set up the Common Wealth Party, a political movement committed to fighting for greater social equality in post-war Britain, in particularly a call for morality in politics. The writer is incredibly clever at mixing in subtle little things to interest the audience. For example, in the first scene everything seems to be happy and relaxed. However, there are tiny signs that something is not quite right. Traditional detective plays lead up to one big denouncement at the end. However Priestly takes his own spin on this genre and makes everyone in the play guilty. This ensures there are several denouncement of guilt. Eric seems strangely nervous, Sheila playfully teases Gerald for not having come near her last summer and Mr Birling tries overly hard to impress Gerald. Altogether act one is a great act in my opinion. It conveys the writer thoughts on society at the time, as well as interesting and involving the audience with a range of clever dramatic devices throughout the first act and this ensures that the audience and the characters are kept on edge and interested all through the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mahfuz Ahmed English Coursework ...read more.

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