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How does Priestley use character, setting and dramatic devices to articulate the social and political themes of An Inspector Calls?

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Introduction

How does Priestley use character, setting and dramatic devices to articulate the social and political themes of An Inspector Calls? J.B Preistley wrote "An Inspector Calls" in 1945 only a week after the Second World War had ended. He used his own unique style of writing ability by setting the play in 1912 as if he is looking upon it with hindsight. You know this as often in the book they talk about events from that period of time like the Titanic. I think the idea of this was not simply a new way of setting out work but to look back and see how people lived before the war had began, perhaps even remind people of how they lived before and how they have changed. For example showing Daisy Renton's biggest problem as finding a job where as now many are in the same situation of trying to stay alive. Although this was unique it had some obvious disadvantages as people may reflect and 'punish' themselves for things that they could have done to prevent war or at least lesser the effects. Social and political aspects played a key role in this book showing governing bodies, working, middle class and upper class with many working and fighting to try and improve their social status in the society as Mr Birling wishes to do. ...read more.

Middle

He tries to impress Gerald, any thing that your father can afford so can I. Priestley uses the play to insert a social and political moral. He does this in three ways. These are through the characters, the setting and dramatic devices. Priestley uses characters a lot to get the social and political themes across to the audience. For example there slave Edna is treated as something that they would step on before entering the house, they show no manurs towards her for example 'We want coffee'. They also do not take the time to even say 'Please' or 'Thank You' this shows there lif views on how they are better than other people based purely on class. The Birling family made Daisy Renton's life a misery and what is worse is that every single one of them was involved. Mr Birling had fired her from his factory for protesting for a decent wage, this is how the whole saga began and perhaps he is the most to blame. Then along came Sheila, Daisy finally found another job she liked however when Sheila was trying on a dress Daisy apparently smirked, Sheila demanded the girl be fired or she will never shop here again and she is a valued customer. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lighting plays a role in the book as before the inspector enters "lighting should be pink and intimate until the inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder" It is almost as if the inspector is a personified shadow leaving darkness where he goes, he cannot be intimidated or hurt by any threats of Birling using his power. I think that there are two dramatic devices in this play, for instance the door. This is a key device as whenever a character enters or leaves 'the door slams'. Every time the door is used a significant event is about to occur. The door is where the story began with the inspector entering and it is also where he leaves after his final statement leaving the Birling's in a state of disbelief. The other is the telephone; this plays more of a role towards the end. When they think all is well 'the telephone rings' and issues the information ' that was the infirmary. A girl has just died from swallowing disinfectant, an inspector is on his way.' This has the biggest effect on them. Just when they think they are safe the information sends them into a state of insecurity. It is as if they had seen what was to come. By Sandeep Nijjer 10town ...read more.

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