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I intend to find out how JB Priestly creates dramatic tension in his play Inspector Calls.

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Dramatic tension is a practice used by story tellers and play writes. It can be made using language or actions, dramatic tension is designed to keep the audience hooked and on the edge of their seats. I intend to find out how JB Priestly creates dramatic tension in his play Inspector Calls. I am going to see how the language of the time has effects on the methods he uses and see which scenes in the play cause the greatest amounts of dramatic tension. I will start with a brief description of the story. An inspector arrives at the home of Arthur Birling is a self made man in the industrial period of Britain. He believes in the rising economy and has every faith in himself and family. He believes 'a man looks after himself and his own.' The inspector questions Birling over the suicide of a young girl Eva Smith. In turn he questions the rest of Birlings family, his daughter Sheila, her fianc� Gerald Croft, his son Eric and his wife Mrs Birling. Each reveals injustices on their parts concerning Eva Smith. With a stunning twist at the end of the lay the Inspector is revealed to be a fake. ...read more.


This is a foundation for the whole story the tension starts to build in this scene but it never reaches a high point. Then Sheila Birling is brought into the story. Her revaluation opens up the first passage of dramatic tension into the play. Priestly creates this by shock. Mr and Mrs Birling find this irrelevant. Through their ignorance they fail to see any connection between the two incidents that had already been touched upon. Their ignorance encourages the viewer to be hung by the play. Sheila and Eric are the only two characters who admit freely to their crimes. They are young and spirited. Eric's secret guilt is squeezed from him through drunken guffaws, these show that he is suppressing something, which he knows he must tell, but couldn't bare the affects it would have on him, yet he was aware of the toll that was being inflicted upon Eva. Eric is a symbol of naivetey amongst his generation. The audience are indirectly drawn in by Eric's shrouded story. This is another technique use by Priestly to create tension. After the first few pages of the play a mental guess develops in the mind of the audience, as the reader attempts to pin a story line upon each of the characters in the play. ...read more.


His main phrase being ' look after yourself and your own' Sheila and Eric is the up and coming generation they are open to views of all angles. Eric is seen as the example of problems after having a nurtured life. Mrs Birling is set firmly with her husband in the Philistine ways that a woman belongs in the kitchen. She is seen to abuse her privileges and make large mistakes. Gerald Croft is still a masked character. It is the feeling that other people have upon him that allow us to explore him. Mr and Mrs Birling see him as the perfect man of the right social standing for Sheila to marry, the think is whiter than white. Simply because he is upper class. Sheila obviously loved him but had doubts over his activities last summer. Eric could see Gerald as a bit of an idol as he is the drinking womanizer who came good largely due to his high social standing. Gerald is the link between the two generations. Priestly flicks on and off between moments of tension and calm this is a potent cocktail as it keeps the audience gripped throughout the whole play. It is a cleverly worked masterpiece that has the audience knowing just enough to leave them guessing the whole play. ...read more.

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