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How does Priestley create drama and deliver his social message to his audience

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How does Priestley create drama and deliver his social message to his audience? John Boynton Priestley was born on the 13th September 1894 in Bradford, Yorkshire. He grew to be a keen young writer and wrote his first play 'Dangerous Corner' at the age of 38. Priestley was a labour party supporter and an activist, and in 1934 he was inspired to write 'An Inspector Calls', a play regarding the upper classes and their lack of morals towards people of lower class. The play is set in 1912, a peroid of uncertainty and anixety due to the possiblity of the World War II. As the play was written after this event, the audience were able to recall and empathise with all the destruction that happened at this time. This helps to create a sense of unease to the story line before they actually see or read the play. The play is about the Birling family whom were upper classes living in the North Midlands. The head of the house Mr. Birling, a proud businessman, owned and managed a successful cotton mill. A body was discovered at the local Infirmary and it was identified to have been Eva Smith, a young lady who was an employee for Mr. ...read more.


This bombshell of a dilemma creates excitement to the audience and builds up the drama. But from early on in the play, the audience would have got the gist of the whole family being involved, as clues are given as to who is up next in the line of enquiry. Before each character is questioned, they leave the room and then return just at the point we find out who is up for questioning. This sense of knowing in advance who is next for inspection, creates drama to the audience, as they desire to find out why the next person is involved and who ultimately led Eva Smith to her early deathbed. The continuous use of cliffhangers in the play at the end of every act helps to build up the drama, as every act ends on a dramatic note with the audience on the edges of their seats. When the curtains drops, the audience wait impatiently for the next act and this technique holds their interest in the play. The cliffhanger that the play ends on sets in well with the twist. Priestley decides to finish at the most dramatic part of the play. This is when they all discover that the Inspector was a hoaxer. ...read more.


We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.' Priestley uses the Inspector's character to tell the other characters and the audience that everybody including the older generation needs to bring down the class barriers and work as one community. Also in the Inspector's last speech he clearly states last we should learn from our mistakes and in the future make sure we do things right because we can't afford to keep on making these mistakes again and again after all the damage they cause. Looking back over the play, Priestley creates drama between the Inspector and all the suspects. When the Inspector makes them recall their actions to Eva he shines a light on their proceedings, which they do not like and don't want to accept. Some of the characters own up and accept but some characters don't and continue to fight the truth of what the Inspector says. The drama created in the play helps to deliver the message across, especially when Mrs. Birling doesn't accept her actions to have been wrong and hadn't led Eva to her death. Priestley shows to the audience that people like this need to change and thus the moral of the play attacks the upper class and their attitudes towards lower class. ...read more.

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