• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does JB Priestly create atmosphere and tension in Act 1 of 'An Inspector Calls'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does JB Priestly create atmosphere and tension in Act 1 of 'An Inspector Calls'? The play 'An Inspector Calls' is set in April 1912, however was written in 1945, by JB Priestly. J.B Priestly was born on September 13th 1894 in Yorkshire; Priestly joined the infantry when the First World War commenced, and subsequent to it he gained a degree at Cambridge University. Priestly broadcasted a widely popular radio programme during World War II, which was cancelled due to a number of complaints claiming they were too left wing, in 1942 he co-founded the socialist Common Wealth Party. The fact that the play is set in 1912 is significant is due to the fact that there were strong distinctions between the upper and lower classes, however in 1945, when the play was written, class distinctions decreased as a result of the two world wars. The Act begins in the dining room of the Birling house hold, and they are celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling and Gerald Croft, the meal is however interrupted by an Inspector, Inspector Goole, he begins talking about a one Eva Smith and her relationships with several of the people dining at the table. ...read more.

Middle

When Mr. Birling says to Gerald, 'it's exactly the same port your father gets', we see Mr. Birling is attempting to impress Gerald, this shows that Mr. Birling is aware of his social superiors, and portrays Mr. Birling as someone who adulates his them. Mrs Birling is described as 'about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husband's social superior'; this shows she is a braggart and similarly to Mr. Birling, arrogant. Tension is created through the use of characterisation; the audience will begin to dislike these two characters from the first scene. Sheila, the fianc�e of Gerald, tells him in response to his stories of him being busy with work during the summer, 'Yes, that's what you say'; this creates tension through the use of language, as it doubts her trust in him, and raises the question to the audience on the stability of their relationship. Birling gives a speech telling everyone how Gerald and Sheila are 'marrying at a very good time', and claims how, 'We employers at last are coming together to see that our interests - and the interests of Capital - are properly protected', ...read more.

Conclusion

atmosphere, however on the contrary is showing he has doubt about his marriage, this will intrigue the audience since they will try to foresee if Gerald and Sheila are engaged by the end of the play. The last line before Act 2 is said by the Inspector; 'Well?', the use of a slightly intimidating, short line is a dramatic climax, which builds up tension in preparation for the next act. J.B Priestly creates tension through various different approaches in Act 1 of 'Inspector Calls', these include; through stage directions, such as lighting and setting; language, such as moods and irony; and actions such as gestures. I believe J.B Priestly has chosen Mr. Birling as one of his key access' into expressing the flaws in Capitalism through language techniques, particularly dramatic irony. Mr. Birling also appears to, intentionally or unintentional, create tension between himself and the other characters, including Gerald, Sheila and Inspector Goole. The name 'Goole' sounds like the word 'ghoul', which I feel is a hint from J.B Priestly that the inspector is a ghost, or at least, a ghostly figure. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick Diplos 10BN ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. How Does JB Priestly Create Tension?

    This also conflicts with the characterisation of the individuals, as Mrs Birling is described as a 'cold woman', and suggests that she doesn't assimilate with the surroundings. The lighting is stressed to be pink and intimate, as Sheila and Gerald are seemingly passionately in love.

  2. How does Priestley create tension in the play through characterisation, structure and atmosphere?

    All the characters and their personalities in act one are showing many high status factors such as; comfort, prosperity and security in all of their daily lifestyles. This portrays to the audience that they have an excellent standard of living and that they all have confidence in their futures which they are not afraid to show to others.

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

    The play is set in 1912 yet performed in the 1945 and as a result of this the audience know more than the characters, therefore Mr Birling's predictions that the titanic is "unsinkable absolutely unsinkable" which the audience do know is sinkable. This makes him look incredibly foolish and ignorant.

  2. How does priestly create tension in act 1 of An Inspector Calls?

    The softer lighting creates a calm atmosphere,(pink being associated with romance linked with the engagement celebration) whilst the Birlings are having a nice family chat and drinks but the audience is made more alert and tension builds with brighter, harder lighting (brightness signifying a wake up or shock)

  1. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    From the very first moment the Inspector enters the Birling house, he puts this tactic into action. After first introducing himself he reveals the shocking revelation that a young girl has just died, Inspector: 'Id like some information, if you don't mind, Mr Birling.

  2. How does Priestly create suspense and tension at the end of act 2 of ...

    Inspector Goole is a strong persuasive man. The audience and the other actors never learn much about him except his name and that he is new. His name Goole, this is a pun on 'ghoul'. This gives him the image of him being some kind of a spirit sent on behalf of Eva to torment them for what they have done to her.

  1. How Does Priestly Build Up Tension at the ends of Acts 1 and 2 ...

    I don't see why-" Gerald almost sounds guilty and tense at this point and when the Inspector cuts in; "Never mind about that. You can settle that between you later;" Priestly has used foreboding to give the audience an insight into what might occur between them later.

  2. How does the author of An Inspector Calls change the Atmosphere from relaxed to ...

    real Inspector unlike the others she still cannot let go of the guilt, which she carries for being partly responsible for Eva's death. Inspector Goole is a strong persuasive man. He can also be seen as some one sent from the future to try and convince people to change before it's to late.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work