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

In Act One of An Inspector Calls(TM) how does J.B. Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the members of the audience as well as interest and involve them in his play?

Extracts from this document...


In Act One of 'An Inspector Calls' how does J.B. Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the members of the audience as well as interest and involve them in his play? 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B Priestley is a well-made, morality, whodunit detective play. Priestley displays a theme of morality in his play to show his views through his main characters. The play was written in 1944/1945 (and also performed on stage for the first time in 1945), this was a time when Britain was coming out of the austerity of the Second World War, a great time of social change for all classes. 'An Inspector Calls' however, was set in 1912 - before even the First World War (1914-1918) had even broken out in Europe. J.B. Priestley had very strong political opinions and used his plays to put them across, plays with a hard-hitting social message. In 'An Inspector Calls', this message was about how people should be thinking and living, he wanted his audience and readers to come around to his way of thinking, focussing on the point that everyone needs to look out for everyone else because it is the right and proper thing to do so. Priestley uses the character of the Inspector in this play to represent the alternative view to Mr Birling. ...read more.


The Inspector has; "An impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness. He is a man in his fifties, dressed in a plain darkish suit. He speaks carefully, weightily, and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking." He uses his character to create the impact on the family that he is to be taken seriously and they are not in for such a comfortable evening as usual. When beginning his investigations he displays his habit of looking closely at each of the main characters before questioning them. He works systematically 'one person and one line of enquiry at a time' he confronts them all and is harsh, giving them a piece of information and then letting them talk. Mrs Birling who is not so accommodating uses the phrase of: "Giving us a rope - so we'll all hang ourselves When his suspects exit the room after they have been interrogated, the Inspector uses this as his excuse to move onto the next. For example, in the exit of Sheila Birling, she leaves the room in tears as Inspector Goole has made her feel that she is personally responsible for the death of Eva Smith after she has recognised her in a photograph. What the family and Sheila do not realise is that there is much more to the girls death than just Sheila's actions. ...read more.


The new light of this seeming pleasant and respectable family at the beginning of the Act is not so kind upon them and the audience see the Birling's to be selfish in their actions to only look out for themselves. The power of the Birling family appears to lie in other people's perception of them, their status within the community. However, Mr Birling does see himself as a very influential and powerful person, and displays this arrogance to the Inspector when he first arrives. "I was an alderman for years - and Lord Mayor two years ago - and I'm still on the Bench - so I know the Brumley police officers pretty well" Here, Birling's arrogance is turned into embarrassment as he fails to impress the Inspector, but he still thinks highly of his own achievements. Priestley involves his audience by making them ask questions about the Birling's and allowing them to come to their own decisions as to which Birling is most at fault for Eva Smith's death and also whether or not the Inspector is conveying the truth to them. I think J.B Priestley's message within the play is that Birling is wrong in his views, it is everyone's responsibility as a community to take care of each other, regardless of how close you are to them. This, I think is a message which is still relevant today as many people are unwilling to help and support those in need. ...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 has JB Priestly developed the character of Arthur Birling in Act One, through ...

    However, he loses all his confidence when the inspector intrudes his party and starts to ask him questions about a death. He quickly becomes anxious and uneasy with the continuous questioning because he is put under pressure to answer to someone who he feels isn't superior to him.

  2. Examine How Priestley Uses a Variety of Dramatic Devices To Highlight the Theme of ...

    It tells us about the family and what is happening. Of course the audience watching the play wont know this unless they have read the play. As the play goes on there are various stage directions to help us understand the feelings of the characters.

  1. An Inspector Calls: In act one of An Inspector Calls how does J.B Priestley ...

    description of setting is page one which includes use of lighting "the lighting is first pink and intimate until the inspector arrives then it should be brighter and harder" At first the light is pink to show the families closeness it signifies the intimate connection between the family, as the

  2. Coursework How does J.B Priestley use dramatic devices in 'An Inspector Calls' to convey ...

    J.B Priestley gives specific lighting directions at the opening of Act one. All of the action takes place in the Birling's dining room, on the first page of act one the room is described as "substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy and homelike".

  1. How does J.B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to ...

    During his speech, he says "In the 1940s you may be giving a party like this to your children". World War Two starts in the 1940s, and Gerald would most likely be fighting in the war instead of being at home with Sheila.

  2. An Inspector Calls. How does J.B Priestley use the Inspector as a dramatic ...

    firstly: he is unfamiliar to Arthur Birling (who is very knowledgeable of his local police force). The Inspector then refuses Birling's offer of port, yet again unusual to Mr. Birling. This can be related to the Inspector's unusual name, Goole - a ghost-like figure that is mysterious, unnoticeable and a messenger of the dead (Eva Smith in this case).

  1. In Act One of An Inspector Calls, how does Priestly use dramatic devices to ...

    The inspector tries to make Birling feel guilty and take responsibility of his actions by stating that "She was out of work for the next two months. Both parents were dead, so she'd no home to go back to." Again, this use of dramatic devices through language, ideas and themes

  2. In Act 1 of An Inspector Calls how does J.B. Priestley use dramatic devices ...

    is then that there is a sharp ring of the door bell, and as the situation unravels, its clear that the Inspector has interrupted a speech which is the exact reason for his visit. Another dramatic device that Priestley uses to great affect are the stage directions.

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