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How does JB Priestley use exits and entrances in "an inspector calls"?

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How does JB Priestley use exits and entrances in "an inspector calls"? J B Priestley uses many exits and entrances in 'An Inspector Calls' for many different reasons and the various characters and stage directions have important effects on the play and the way it is perceived. In this essay I will explain how and why Priestley uses exits and entrances in 'An Inspector Calls', and what effect they have on the play. The plot relies on the exits and entrances as they further the narrative, enhance the image of the inspector and show dramatic irony. Also as there is no movement in the play as it is set in one room, the exits and entrances show movement and progress. There is a very compact structure to the play; nothing is allowed to distract the audience from the central theme. There is no sub-plot, the play takes place in just one location, and the action is continuous. J B Priestley combines both genres of mystery and 'whodunit' in the inspector's character. This is a static, cyclical and morality play and the purpose of this play is to show socialist ways as the author favours the Labour Party. The play shows the fine line between being a criminal and a bad citizen and how everybody is responsible for his or her actions. ...read more.


She is very distressed by the girl's suicide and thinks that her father's behaviour was unacceptable. She readily agrees that she behaved very badly and insists that she never meant the girl any harm. The next exit is Sheila's; she leaves hysterically, after the inspector shows her a picture of Eva Smith, Sheila recognises the picture and she feels guilty and she accepts that she is partly responsible for her death but Arthur Birling cannot. The inspector exits so he can leave Gerald and Sheila alone and since Sheila has taken on the role of the inspector, she gets some truth out of Gerald 'I'm sorry Sheila. But it was all over and done with, last summer'. At the same time Eric leaves to show the inspector to the drawing room as the inspector is looking for Arthur. When the inspector returns he finds out the how Gerald is connected to Eva's death but he doesn't have to force the information out of him because Sheila has already done that. So as he enters he just has to say 'Well?' to signify he knows what Sheila has done. By the end of Act one the inspector has influenced Sheila the most, she is on the same wavelength as him, she embodies him and in a way takes on his role. 'We often do on the young ones. ...read more.


Its important that we did those terrible things and not whether a man is a police inspector or not.' Arthur disagrees and is glad that there isn't going to be a 'public scandal.' But not long after Gerald put the phone down it rang again, the final entrance, it was the police: 'a girl has just died- on her way to the infirmary- after swallowing some disinfectant. And a police inspector is o his way here- to ask some questions.' This phone call was like another entrance from the outside world; the family thought they were safe but they were wrong. The final climax, the phone call announcing that a police inspector is on his way to ask some questions about a girl who has just died in the infirmary is as shocking as it is surprising and ensures that the audience will leave the auditorium in a state of real shock. It changed the nature of the play, making it far more like a morality play, it will keep on happening until Mr and Mrs Birling change. Overall, the entrances and exits are very important in this play, they enhance the inspector's omniscience and increase drama and as they are positioned well they can give the characters time to think and they can lead to important moments, which make the play what it is. Lucille Sargent 10B Mrs Watkins ...read more.

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