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How does the dramatic tension mount in 'An Inspector Calls'? Examine the changes in the internal dynamic of the Birling family.

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How does the dramatic tension mount in 'An Inspector Calls'? Examine the changes in the internal dynamic of the Birling family. The play, An Inspector Calls, by J.B Priestley is full of dramatic tension that changes throughout the play depending on the characters involved. This tension that has been created by the arrival of the Inspector has affected the relationships within the family and Gerald Croft, a person soon to be married to Sheila Birling. Not only have the relationships changed but the attitudes of certain characters have also altered, almost completely, as their perspectives of the society and position seems to matter no more. This is in relevance to Sheila and Eric Birling especially. The tension mounts as each revelation is revealed through the intense questioning by the Inspector that brings about attitude changes within the members of the family, nervousness, and anxiety to what happens next that leads to Eva Smith's devastating consequences. Individual responsibilities have been laid out by the Inspector that the members did not know they had. Although, most important of all, the family members knows what tragedies had been placed inside the family structure that will destroy the dynamic and external family view. Through the analysis of the family members, Mr and Mrs. Birling have remained unchanged but they have faced the facts in the end that their children were not the children they thought they knew. ...read more.


Mr. Birling is extremely proud and delighted that his daughter is to marry a man of an upper class family. "...This is one of the happiest nights of my life." Mr. Birling is so impressed and anxious to maintain that connection that he is even prepared to overlook Gerald's affair with Daisy Renton. Now, Sheila, I'm not defending him. But you must understand that a lot of young men-"He stops short as Sheila interrupts him. In the beginning of the play, Gerald Croft was a proud man from a good background. This, however, changes during the play. His relationship with the other members of the Birling family also changes. He gives himself away when the name, 'Daisy Renton' is mentioned. After this, he is reluctant to let Sheila know he had any relationship with her. As his relationship with Daisy Renton is revealed, the other members of the family see him in a completely different light. However, Sheila is mature about this revelation and she has more respect for each other. This shows that the younger members of the family were in contrast to Mr and Mrs. Birling as they were more understanding about the situation. The tension increases between the family members but most of the tension mounts between Sheila and Gerald as we see a change in their attitudes towards each other. ...read more.


This has reached the climax of the whole playas it really presents how the Birling family deteriorated, through both ignorance and stupidity. Goole has remained entirely in control and has been successful in bringing Sheila and Eric to a realisation of their guilt and responsibility. He rarely loses his temper except on rare occasions when outbursts do occur when the members state something very controversial. Who, or what he was, is left deliberately unresolved by Priestley, almost as if to heighten the supernatural nature of the Inspector. Gerald telephones the Infirmary, only to find there has been no suicide taken in that day. This heightens the mystery surrounding the Inspector. Overall, the family will never be the same again. A well -to do British family has had their complacency disrupted by the appearance of Goole. Priestley heightens the audience's suspense by his skilful use of climaxes within the carefully controlled plot and by ensuring that the audience is left puzzled at the end of each conclusion at the end of each act. The inspector is the most character in the play for his remarkable, unique, and intimate questioning and persuasion for the human race. These issues are put through to the 'upper crust' with great approval by the audience for his ideas on an equal world, which many people regard this as their utopia. Viji Pillai 11P English literature GCSE Cand no: 8384 Ms. Glover Centre no: 13228 ...read more.

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