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

How is "An Inspector Calls" a well-made play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is "An Inspector Calls" a well-made play? J.B Priestley uses all the techniques required for a well-made play. He focuses on the classical unities of time, action and place to create a play which makes the audience think, not only about the actions of the characters on stage but also about the way society behaves. Priestley uses the play to speak out against social discrimination and prejudice. He does this in a subtle way so that the audience learn the truth about a typical higher-class family without realising it. He makes no effort in the play to show another side to his argument that, before and during the war, upper class people were selfish, bigoted and self-centred. I think the way in which Priestley communicates this message is made all the more impressive because he does so within the constraints of a well-made play. The main purpose of any play is to entertain the audience. To do this it must be interesting, dramatic, different, moving and give realistic events that the audience can relate to. In a well-made play the writer must incorporate all of these elements by using certain techniques and following basic guidelines. These involve the classical unities of time, action and place, which must all be realistic; themes, exposition, blackmail and twists in the plot, which should be used to keep the audience interested; and the characters, who have to have a wide range of personalities such as a basic evil villain to a loveable hero in order to give the audience someone to relate to. ...read more.

Middle

By doing this Preistley creates a simple story line which doesn't confuse the audience and which makes the illogical ending more of a shock. Just as the play uses one plot to keep it simple, there is only one place where all the action takes place therefore there is nothing that distracts the attention of the audience. The set is "substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy or homelike," which is another theme running though the play - things may not be as they appear. The family is not really what they portray; they think they are honourable and devoted but in reality they are hiding the fact that they are distant and indecent. For example, the lighting for the dining room "should be pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder" representing the dramatic effect that the Inspector has on the family. They are celebrating the engagement of Gerald and Sheila and feeling "very pleased with life". Every character is feeling confident and vainglorious until the hard Inspector arrives and brings them back down to reality. "Two hours ago a young woman died..." The lighting direction symbolises the way the Inspector ruins their celebration and how the family does not welcome his news. There are other aspects in the play apart from time, place and action that assist the play in holding the audience's attention and fulfilling the requirements of a well-made play. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is Sheila who finally relinquishes and shows remorse for her actions. After the night's revelations she says, "I remember what he said...it frightens me the way you talk." Priestley is indirectly suggesting here that if Sheila can break the cycle of repeating events because she has learnt her lesson, then there is also hope for society. Overall, 'An Inspector Calls' follows the guidelines for a well-made play and when it doesn't, it still entertains the audience. The play is a morality play with one main message, that the so-called respectable side of humanity is not all what they would have you believe. The Inspector is the voice of Preistley trying to reveal the truth about the upper classes and when the Inspector makes his final speech, it is Preistley speaking to the audience: "One Eva Smith has gone but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us". He wants people to leave the theatre with a new mentality of how respectable citizens live and think twice before ever looking down on somebody because of their social status. I think that the play is very well-made and I agree with the moral that Preistley wants people to learn. To protest against class prejudice through drama is very difficult and this is why Preistley has had to bend the rules slightly. It was more important to him to communicate his message to the audience than to make the play realistic. Inspector Goole has a lesson for all of us: "We are all responsible for each other". ...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 Preistley present the character of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Arthur Birling was seen as a powerful man within his area and household, but the arrival of the Inspector jeopardised how he was seen by the other members of his family. He is clearly an upper-class man although egotistical. As his family members have great respect for him, whether they

  2. What inspired Priestley? What made him write 'An Inspector Calls' and why set it ...

    who would admit to the truth straight away with no hesitation although Sheila is more honest. Gerald and Mr. and Mrs. Birling seem to me to be a little more difficult to get the truth out of. The Inspector very cunningly manages to get a confession or something with significance

  1. Show how in "An Inspector Calls" Priestley creates dramatic tension through focus on characters, ...

    Eric drinks too much, made Daisy pregnant and stole money from his father's safe. Eric must have seemed very frightening to Daisy when he was drunk the night they met at the Palace Theatre "in that state when a chap easily turns nasty".

  2. Inspector calls

    He describes her as very pretty soft brown hair and big dark eyes. Gerald claims to have rescued her from horrible old County Hotel and set her up in a friends set of rooms, where she later, inevitably, became his mistress.

  1. "An Inspector Calls" - issues raised in the play concerning the social structure ...

    After Eric enters it is only a short while before all these small hints towards an amount of tension on stage end as everyone really does become uneasy as the inspector arrives. When the Inspector initially arrives Mr. Birling is very kind and sociable, invites him to sit down and offers him Port or Whisky.

  2. AN INPSECTOR CALLS

    At first she was just like the other members of the family, stubborn and refusing the listen to the inspector, but as the play has developed she has also. She, along with Eric, are the only two members of the family to learn from their mistakes are realise that their actions do affect other people.

  1. 'Analyse the Character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J B Preistley'.

    Mr Birling is clearly threatened by the Inspector, but acts coolly to hide it. He also tries to act importantly and replies: Mr Birling: (surprised) did you say why? Inspector: Yes. Why did you refuse? By asking the Inspector whether he said 'why' in response to his refusal to higher

  2. " 'An Inspector Calls' has been described as a well- made play. Discuss ...

    Even though this may mean to pay his employers much less than they truly deserve. Arthur is described as a 'heavy- looking rather portentous man'. This may be because of his size that helps to give him a threatening appearance.

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