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

In Act I of "An Inspector Calls" how does Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his message to the audience and involve them in the play?

Extracts from this document...


In Act I of "An Inspector Calls" how does Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his message to the audience and involve them in the play? "An Inspector Calls" is a play written in 1945 and set in 1912. The plot is based on a high-class family and each of their contributions to the suicide of a young working-class girl. The play begins with a family dinner party held by Arthur Birling, to celebrate the engagement of his daughter. There is a ring of the doorbell, and the pleasant scene changes to an uncomfortable interrogation as Inspector Goole enters. As the play unfolds, the audience find out how each member of the family is connected with the development of Eva Smith's suicide. Although J.B Priestley wrote "An Inspector Calls" in 1945, he deliberately set it in 1912 to influence people's ideas about society. He was worried about the living conditions of the working classes, portrayed by Eva, and the way the higher classes behaved, portrayed by Gerald and the Birlings. The dramatic devices in the play include the "sharp" ring of the doorbell, interrupting Mr. Birling's speech of his capitalist ideals, when he says "A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own" The introduction of the Inspector after this had been said is very significant to show Priestley's socialist views contrasting Birling's capitalist views. ...read more.


This creates suspense in the audience, and makes them wonder: 'what will happen next?' This question always leads to the audience wanting to keep watching. Priestley's language contains biblical references, which might suggest how sacred and important socialist views are, compared to capitalist views. Christianity is much more like socialism because it is about 'loving thy neighbor as thyself'. He uses the reference; "we are members of one body," which is part of a catholic communion prayer. This means that we are all alike in the view of God, and that diversity does not exist in God's eyes. The church is often referred to as 'a body' with each member playing an important part. Another biblical reference he uses is "fire and blood and anguish," which is a reference to hell and links to World War 1. He also unites the Inspector and the audience by using the personal plural pronoun "we", which highlights his activist, socialist views on the idea of community. The Inspector is not classed as a character as he is more of a vehicle for conveying Priestley's socialist message. He seems to want the family to profess their moral wrongdoings more than a crime they have committed. His name is "Inspector Goole", which may be a homophone for "In-Specter Ghoul". ...read more.


Eva was exploited selfishly, as every member of the family (including Gerald) exploited her by ignorance, hatred, and especially greed. Status and wealth were more important and more valued than people when it came to this family. Mr. and Mrs. Birling did not feel any sympathy for Eva even after they found she had committed suicide. This is shown by their snobby attitude to the Inspector, and how they are not sorry for their snobby attitude towards Eva. "You're quite wrong to suppose I shall regret what I did" Overall, I think the play was very effective in the way Priestley conveyed his message, which made me think about how our community today acts towards each other. Something that kept me involved in the play was the wonder of what was going to happen to the Birlings. Whilst going through the play, I thought about how the story would finish, and did not expect the ending to be such a big twist! After the final curtain fall, I imagined what would happen to the characters once the second Inspector had come, and thought about the same questions being asked again, but I suppose not in quite such a curt way, and their fears of "public scandal" would come to life. I think the play was thought provoking and excellently written. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sonya Woods 10S English GCSE coursework Page 1 ...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. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    As the play develops the audience begin to feel that it is a slight coincidence the whole family being caught up in one girl. Yet the power and precise accuracy of the inspectors recollection leads each member of the family to feel that they have committed an individual murder where as none of them has committed a punishable crime.

  2. In Act I of An Inspector Calls how does J B Priestley use dramatic ...

    The reaction of each person to the photograph helps to change our opinion of them. Sheila is described as "a pretty girl in her early twenties, pleased with life and rather excited". By the end of Act I Sheila is "distressed" at her part in the girl's downfall and is the only member of the family to understand the Inspector.

  1. 'What is Priestley's message in 'An Inspector Calls' and how does he convey this ...

    Arthur Birling is a successful factory owner and an ex-Lord Mayor of Brumley and also a local magistrate. He regards himself as an upper-middle class man who does not really like to mess around with anything. Arthur Birling has no imagination and seems to be blind to both to the

  2. In act 1 of An inspector calls how does Priestley convey his concerns and ...

    As aforementioned, he is like a god in a sense that he gives the Birlings an opportunity to own up to what harm they have caused, and as a result agree to change (although it given as a choice). Thus, he signifies the need of change, learning from mistakes and avoiding those mistakes to happen again.

  1. An Inspector Calls is a play with strong morals. How does Priestley use Inspector ...

    Finally Sybil expresses recognition of who the irresponsible one was, and it's none other than her own son, Eric. We become aware of the fact that the Inspector embodies a character from whom nothing can hide. A further function of the Inspector is revealed wile he pressures people to change and learn from their mistakes.

  2. What Dramatic Devices does J.B. Priestly
use in 'An Inspector Calls' to convey his 
attitude ...

    Just a knighthood of course'. This is another pretentious title that he can put himself under, just to seem grander and to make him able to exert more power over other members of the public. Birling seems to dismiss all female characters.

  1. The message of an inspector calls

    he has done and already feels guilty about what he has done. This shows how sorry Eric really is because he realises what he has done and has taken the blame as guilt for everything that happened between him and Eva Smith.

  2. In Act One of 'An Inspector Calls' how does J.B. Priestly use devices to ...

    Whenever the inspector shows the picture of Eva Smith he shows it only to one character privately, so that the audience doesn't know if it is the same girl in each picture, or if each picture is of a different person.

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