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How does Priestly create dramatic tension within these extracts?

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How does Priestly create dramatic tension within these extracts? Inspector Calls By J. B. Priestley was written post World War II, but set in the early 1910's. This was a time of great innovation, with the "Titanic" making its voyage to New York, and trouble in the Balkans that was about to spread throughout Europe. Britain at this time was booming after the effects of the Industrial revolution. With this came social ordering, and a difference between the gentry and working class of society. The top 3 percent of the country belong to the Upper class and they contained a staggering 98 percent of the country's wealth. The Birling family are members of the Upper part of society, Mrs Birling being born into it, and Mr Birling achieving it through business. They are leading there lives the way they want to lead them, ignorant to the poverty and suffering of the working class, and indulge in their superficial nonsense they find so important. This is why the Inspector calls in on the family, and finally opens their eyes to the reality of the world, and their role within it. ...read more.


"Oh don't be stupid" "We can't leave it at that". She is taking charge and not accepting his diversions. The more Gerald refuses to say however, the more Sheila understands about his relationship with Eva. This reveals an underlying lack of trust within their relationship, usually considered the fundamental part of a successful marriage. She is quite reflective, and thinks through what she is saying. She mentions Gerald's whereabouts last summer again, something previously mentioned at the dining table. It becomes clear that she had always had a subconscious suspicion of him having an affair, due to her immediate response to this without any fault. Yet she stil has to ask him, so that he can me descent enough to respond. And again he remains silent. "He does not reply but looks at her." Although he tries to convince her that it is over and in the past, he selfishly doesn't want Sheila to mention it to the Inspector. She on the other hand doesn't undermine the Inspectors ability to find the truth, "Of course he knows" The couple are taking behind the Inspectors back, and the way he walks into the room and says, "Well?" ...read more.


She has been knocked of her pedestal. The final climax of Act 2 ends just as Act 1 did, the character to which has been talked about on stage to the audience enters, and it is clear from the air of secrecy and dishonesty that is left between all the characters, that the silence speaks louder than words. Throughout these two extracts Priestly creates dramatic tension through painstakingly slowly revealing the families involvement in Eva Smith's death. Each time the inspector calmly moves from one character to the next, as the involvement gets worse, and closer to the present day, the tension increases. Throughout the play the audience is waiting for the Inspector to interview each character, which is why Act 2 finishes with one of the biggest climaxes of them all, as all five characters participation are exposed. Priestly uses silences, and hesitation to create suspense, and then uses tone of voice, manner of speaking in the verbal communication, and the use of stage direction and body movements in non-verbal communication to show the ultimate breaking down of the family's pretences. The confessions become more and more involuntary and the seriousness creates a very dramatic climax to the story. In the end they have all been conquered and humbled because the Inspector has morally overruled them. ...read more.

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