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Inspector Calls

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What is the effect of J.B Priestley's use of dramatic irony in Inspector calls? Jhon Boyton Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on 13th September 1894. His mother died the same year he was born and his father remarried. At the age of sixteen Priesistley decided to leave school rather then work towards a university. Priestley was devoted to literature and eventually got a job with a newspaper. However, he later on managed to secure a place at the famous Cambridge university. In 1920 Priestley started to write novels and from then on he published many essays which were very prominent. In 1945 Priestley wrote the Inspector Calls, which was set in 1912. The Inspector Calls became renowned and was produced in London the following year due to the books great success. An accomplished performance of the production of the play paid close attention to the tone of events portrayed. To start with it is 1912 and the Birlings and Gerald Croft are celebrating his engagement to Sheila. Arthur Birling is a "rather portentous" character who sees his daughter's engagement to Gerald Croft rather as a business deal for the two companies of Birling and Croft to join forces. ...read more.


The audience do not place any confidence on Mr Birlings self opinionated views. The play mentions the fact that Mr Birling believes there will be no war but the audience know otherwise. Priestley chose to show his play in this year as feeling of war was strong and the thought of what had happened would be in the back of the audiences' minds. Therefore, after the play the audience may have thought twice about what they did and the consequences of their actions could have even lead to death. People will feel bereaved having the memories fresh in their minds from their experiences of going through the war and the fact that it did take place and Mr Birling was wrong, this creates animosity towards Mr Birling who is unrealistic as he is narrow-minded. Priestley shows the difference between the upper and lower classes very strongly throughout the play. This can be seen in the snobbery of the Birling family representing the upper-class and Eva Smith as a representative of the Lower Class. The audience will feel extremely sympathetic towards Eva Smith/Daisy Renton as she was treated like vermin and does not draw any respect from any of the Birling family. ...read more.


If the girl's death is due to anybody then it's due to him". Mrs Birling believes the young man is the chief culprit she describes Daisy Renton as "giving herself ridiculous airs. She was claiming elaborate fine feelings and scruples that were simply absurd in a girl in her position". This shows Mrs Birling has the same disrespectful attitude of Mr Birling. And for that reason she refused to help Daisy Renton. Once the Inspector has finished questioning Mrs Birling the audience know that there is only one person whom the Inspector has not questioned and that is Eric. We know that he is the last person to be questioned and we find out what Eric is about to find out before he does, when Mrs Birling states "If you take some steps to find this young man and then make sure he is compelled to confess in public his responsibility- instead of staying her asking quite unnecessary questions then you really would be doing your duty", the Inspector then waits and when Mrs Birling asks what he is waiting for he simply says "to do my duty". We know from these words that the Inspector is waiting to question Eric this creates tension and the audience know what the Inspector will want to question Eric about and whether Eric was the chief culprit. ...read more.

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