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In Act 1 of "An Inspector Calls", how does J.B.Priestly use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to members of the audience as well as interest and involve them in the play?

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Introduction

English Coursework: "An Inspector Calls" Jevany Thompson In Act 1 of "An Inspector Calls", how does J.B.Priestly use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to members of the audience as well as interest and involve them in the play?? John Braine Priestly, playwright of "An Inspector Calls" uses many dramatic devices in the play as a means of communicating his humanitarian ideas to the audience. In this way he also expresses humanistic views in the hope of enlightening his audience and to make them more aware of how their actions affect the lives of others. Examples of these devices include the play's lighting, introduction of new characters and stage directions. Priestley's main concerns are, that people do not realize the consequences their actions have on other people's lives; and also the lack of realization that ignorance of the world around us will not prevent suffering. This first point is demonstrated through the series of events leading up to the young girl's suicide in the play, with causes such as that of Arthur Birling when he sacked 'Eva Smith' from his business or when Sheila used her influence to discharge her from Milwards dress shop; both of which "didn't seem to be such anything terrible at the time" but in series with the other incidents that lead to the suffering and eventually suicide of a young girl, seem otherwise. ...read more.

Middle

Birling's character is lecturing the younger men on his experience in life with the input of inhumanitarian opinions: "a man has to make his own way- has to look after himself", "a man must mind his own business and look after himself and his own-and- "When a "sharp ring" interrupts the speech which incorporates completely different views to that of Priestly and the Inspector. The bell also symbolises a metaphoric warning (like a siren) who's ringing effect will be echoed throughout the play. As well as announcing the arrival of a new character with a new status and yet unknown opinions. The arrival of Inspector Goole provides the script with a strong authoritive figure who acts as an almost God-like, omniscient narrator to the story. Priestly conveys an impression of massiveness and purposefulness in Goole's character as it is the Inspector and not Mr. Birling who is in complete controls of the situations of the scenes form beginning to end; for example when the Inspector defies Birling and sending Eric to bed and the fact that it is he who decides when and whose stories are told first, and in what order. Goole also remains a strong mysterious character where the others lose there solidity as there secrets unravel. ...read more.

Conclusion

Inspector. In this line he is not only interrogating the characters on stage but also the audience, he is questioning them on whos opinions they agree with most ( Priestly or Birling ), and whether or not they are ready to start changing the world by being responsible for each other as the author refers to in Act 3. His threatening manner also hints at the ' hell ' that will happen if they do not apply. Another way Priestly shows his ideas is through the conversation between the two young lovers Gerald and Sheila, in their first domestic argument, using dramatic accusations " were you seeing her last spring and summer? " , and suspense for the outcome, " Im sorry Sheila " This gives a realistic edge to the message and proves to the audience that Priestly's message really can change people ie) the before romantic couple now fighting. Another way he communicates his thoughts to the audience is through Sheila's ultimate line " You'll see. You'll see! " This serves as a repetitive warning that encourages people to take heed and make serious changes to their lives. In conclusion to the question J. B. Priestly uses many dramatic devices such as dramatic irony, lighting and other such effects to portray his humanitarian views to the audience and involves them by showing us how ordinary lives can change for the better, and the effect a different lifestyle can have on humanity. ...read more.

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