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In Act one of 'An Inspector Calls', how does J B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the audience as well as interest and involve them in the play?

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Ian Jones Twentieth Century Drama - An Inspector Calls By J.B Priestley In Act one of 'An Inspector Calls', how does J B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to the audience as well as interest and involve them in the play? In Act one of 'An Inspector Calls' the Birlings are celebrating the engagement of Shelia, their only daughter, to Gerald Croft, the son of Mr. Birling's rival. Their celebrations are rudely interrupted by a knock at the door; enter Inspector Goole, who has come to investigate the suicide of a young girl, Eva Smith. The play An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 within a week of World War Two ending but is set before World War One. J B Priestley wrote this play intentionally as he saw an urgent need for social change and used the play to express his desire for social equality. The time span between the dates used (1945-1912) is to make us aware of what has happened and learn from mistakes made. ...read more.


Birling and Eric to the impossibility of war which of course followed in 1914. They are also talking about their excitement about the sailing of The Titanic the ship that sunk on her famous maiden voyage, which puts the audience at an advantage over the characters and makes them more involved with the play It can later be seen by the audience that clearly, all is not as it seems to be when the doorbell rings as Arthur Birling is telling Gerald Croft and Eric that 'a man has to mind his own business and look after himself'. This leads the audience to be prepared for the main action of the play. Priestley uses the inspector to show us how hypocritical and arrogant the upper middle class men and women were. The Inspector also brings to our attention the vast differences between the upper middle class men and lower class citizens. The inspector refuses to acknowledge the fact that the Birling family is middle class, knowing that he is more of a threat to them then they are to him. ...read more.


Nevertheless at the end of the act our opinions of them have changed greatly and they have gone from being an ordinary family to one that is not so innocent, keeping secrets from each other and having a 'put on' happy relationship. Priestley used various methods during act one of the play to interest and involve the audience, which ranged from giving the audience and insight into what was going to happen, to letting them in on information that even the character didn't know, and keeping the audiences desire to see how the characters react when they finally find out. The Inspectors final speech was that `we are all members of one body; we are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire, blood and anguish'. The Inspector represents the voice of Priestly. J B Priestley's message in the play is that no matter what class we are we are all equal and that we must work together which is still relevant today in schools and at work. ...read more.

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