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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 members of the audience, as well as interest and involve them in his play?

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Introduction

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? J.B.Priestley was described as 'the conscience of the nation' as he had many concerns. One of his concerns was how our actions affect others and how we have many responsibilities, He also wanted a better life for people. 1912 is significant because the play was set in that year; however it was first performed in 1946, when things were totally different. In 1912 the country was split up by the class system; the upper, middle and lower, who rarely met. Many upper class business men owned manufacturing businesses; they sold their goods at high prices and exploited their workers by paying them as little as possible. By 1948 two World Wars had occurred, everyone and everything had changed the social face of Britain. The play can be categorised into a variety of genres, thriller detective and a play which involves the reader and takes them through the thinking process to find out who committed the crime. 'An Inspector Calls' is a morality play, which sends out a message to the reader and makes them think of things they would have never have come across before. ...read more.

Middle

This allows the audience to doubt Mr Birling's predictions as most of them are incorrect. J.B.Priestley also uses irony through the use of the Titanic as an example. This involves the audience as when the play is read or preformed the audience would be aware, that the Titanic, which Mr Birling thought was unsinkable did in fact sink. Arthur Birling was convinced that the invention of the Titanic was astounding, thinking that it was an emblem of progress and that it was "unsinkable absolutely unsinkable". Birling speaks about the prospect of war "Just because the Kaiser makes a speech or two, or a few German officers have too much to drink and start talking nonsense, you'll hear some people say wars inevitable. And to that I say - fiddlesticks!" However the audience know that this is untrue as World War One happened two years later in 1914, and it would shortly be followed by World War Two. This shows the amount of wisdom Mr Birling has as he doesn't even consider war a possibility. Priestley has done this to draw attention to Mr Birling's personality and character. Mr Birling says to Gerald that he believes " There's a very good chance of a knight hood - so long as we behave ourselves, don't get into the police court or start a scandal - eh ?". ...read more.

Conclusion

He represents someone who is extremely selfish and doesn't care about the welfare of anyone but himself. He thinks that as he is in the upper class he is more superior and greater than people in the classes below him. On the other hand Inspector Goole is the total opposite. He is concerned about others safety and welfare. It's through the character of Inspector Goole that the audience would realise that at the time some peoples thoughts were moving away from the idea that you just look out for yourself. J.B.Priestley has expressed his personal views through the character of Inspector Goole. Priestley wanted to deliver a message that everyone should be aware that their actions affect others, that we live in a society together, and that we have many responsibilities that we should fulfil. J.B.Priestley wanted the audience and readers to recognise these responsibilities and change after viewing the play. The message J.B.Priestley has portrayed through his play is still seen to be relevant in today's society. This may be due to him involving the audience in the play through the use of effective dramatic devices such as irony suspense and stage directions. These combined together leaves the audience, at the end of Act One, interested in finding out what each characters' role was in the death of Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton. 1,673 words Navneet Kaur Sull/ An Inspector Calls / September - October 2007 ...read more.

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