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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Priestly create tension in act 1 of An Inspector Calls Act one of Priestley's Inspector Calls draws our attention to an unknown Inspector visiting the family home of the Birlings, in his attempt to divulge any information relevant to the death of a young poor girl by the name of Eva Smith later known as Daisy Renton. It would appear the girl has committed suicide caused by and intake of strong disinfectant and as the Inspectors' questions evolve during the course of his discussions with the family members, it becomes apparent that the Birlings and soon to be family member Gerald with his marriage to the daughter Sheila have all somehow been connected to the now dead girl. The arrival of the inspector is sudden and unexpected and interrupts a celebratory family meal and drinks. The Inspector is extremely strong minded and addresses very probing questions to each one of the Birlings and eventually extracts the information that he needs. The manner in which the Inspector questions the family members about their knowledge of the dead girl implies that each and every one of the Birlings played a part in the events leading up to the death of Eva Smith, and how the upper class society people abused their position in the community to suite themselves regardless of the consequences of the less fortunate in this case that of a poor girl who has eventually died. ...read more.

Middle

Birling, making it quite clear that he doesn't want to socialise with these people but is here to obtain the information he needs does this by cleverly about Eva Smith, and evidently to show the Birlings that they have an accountability for her death for which they are clearly all in denial. The Inspector uses mind games and takes a photograph out of his pocket of the dead girl, but initially keeps it away from Eric and Gerald keeping them both agitated with the suspense of not knowing who the girl was and when asked by Eric and Gerald why they couldn't see the picture the Inspector replies "It's the way I like to go to work. One person and one line of inquiry at a time." By doing this Priestly makes it obvious to the audience that the mysterious Inspector unknown to the Birling family intends to interrogate each and every one of them leading us to believe that they are all to blame for the incident. Gerald Croft tries to avoid any involvement with the questioning from Inspector Goole and says "Look here, sir. Wouldn't you rather I was out of this?" Automatically the audience will assume he's hiding something and wants to escape any inquiries. Mr. Birling in trying to protect his future son in law from inquiries defends Gerald by saying "he is the son of Sir George Croft- you know Crofts Limited." ...read more.

Conclusion

Priestly creates a quiet confidence within Birling but the audience knows and is held in suspense because it's evident that war does follow and the Titanic will sink so in effect Birling Is portrayed by Priestly as a very ignorant man, completely unaware of the realities. Another twist to act one is cleverly done when Birling accuses the Inspector of making a nasty mess of their celebration even when he says "We were having...a celebration tonight. And a nasty mess you've made of it now." Cleverly Priestly turns the tables and the Inspector replies "That's what I was thinking...when I was looking at what was left of Eva Smith...I thought, a nasty mess somebody's made of it." This turns the accusation from Birling into blame and creates tension by leading the audience to believe Birling was responsible. Throughout act one J.B Priestly gradually exposes the real characters of the Birling family who though living a comfortable upper class life really have no regard for the less fortunate. This is done through the character of Inspector Goole, who mysteriously come into their lives and extracts intimate details exposing who they really are and their double standards. This is done skilfully using different techniques and with a slow build up of tension through lighting, conversation and interrogation eventually the truth comes out. The audience are kept in suspense throughout act one as the Inspector gradually picks away at the details with his cunning use of questions. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Panayiotou.10WS. ...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 Priestly Build Up Tension at the ends of Acts 1 and 2 ...

    The use of foreboding to create tension is also evident throughout the scene. When Eric is talking about Sheila and tells Gerald, "She's got a nasty temper, sometimes," foreboding is used as we find this out later when her temper gets Eva Smith sacked from her job.

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

    The inspector reveals that much more happened to the Eva Smith. By this Sheila is relieved that she was not the one who was solely responsible for the loss of Eva Smith's life, but though she does feel partly responsible for the death of Eva.

  1. How Does JB Priestly Create Tension?

    He also uncovers Gerald's infidelity, separating the fantasy from the reality in terms of the 'perfect', high class family. It seems as though the family members are exploring each others personalities as much as the Inspector is, which creates an uneasy atmosphere, as they all discover something about the others that they wish they hadn't.

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

    In the stage directions it shows that the Inspector intimidates the person he is interviewing by looking hard at the person before speaking. This tactic works to the extent that no one dares to challenge his version of the story while he is present.

  1. Explain how Priestly manages to create a very vivid picture of the character of ...

    He advises, "a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own". This shows he definitely isn't a socialist, he doesn't believe in looking after others, he is a real capitalist and believes we have to look after ourselves and our own only.

  2. Analyse how Priestly uses the inspector to create tension and suspense in 'An Inspector ...

    Priestly develops the suspense in two ways, firstly by the way Inspector Goole speaks so slowly and spoon feeds us the story line bit by bit, secondly by how he has a disconcerting habit of starring hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking.

  1. 'An Inspector Calls' - how does Priestly resent the character of Goole? If ...

    Birling is a man who believes and thinks what he wants to think, he is so tied up in his own fantasy world that he doesn't even know his own family as good as he should. He is a prosperous businessman who only cares about his knighthood and his business (the business Eva was dismissed from).

  2. How does JB Priestly create atmosphere and tension in Act 1 of 'An Inspector ...

    Throughout the Act tension is created through various techniques and strategies, including stage directions, language, characterisation and actions made by the characters. The opening stage directions and setting of scene states, 'The dining room of a very large suburban house', this helps the audience to acknowledge the wealth and relations between the characters on the stage and the audience themselves.

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