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inspector calls, dramatic devices alcohol

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Discuss how J.B Priestly uses alcohol as a dramatic device to explore themes of morality and responsibility in the play 'An Inspector calls'? The play an inspector calls was first performed in 1946, set in 1912 (Edwardian era), in the midlands. The play is initially a battle ground of socialist and capitalist systems, cleverly implemented into the typical society with the lives of the Birling family. Through reading the play and studying its content, one can easily understand Priestley's socialist discontentment, in the structure of society. Throughout the play, we can see the message that is being put across to the audience. Priestley expresses his views, through the characters, dramatic devices exploring themes of responsibility and morality; areas in which he believes are corrupt. The characters are virtually an embodiment of his ideas; he shows corruption through the mockery of society, how capitalist beliefs are destroying society and how socialist views will help society prosper. Through this, he shows the true condition of what lays behind the cloud which we think is full of happiness and richness yet there is an unprincipled, decadent society where there is no love between them. A technique of communication was the use of dramatic devices. Priestly uses alcohol to convey his message in the play. Although this may sound absurd, but I feel it is quite intelligent in how he communicates his message. In order for us to see alcohols pre-eminent role in the play we first have to understand the importance of alcohol in English culture itself, this allows us to understand the consumption in the play, and how the author uses this as a device to open to many themes. ...read more.


Eric also seems to visit the palace bar where prostitutes meet, again Priestley creates a familiar link with alcohol, a habitual scene as alcohol and palace bar go together. Where there is lots of alcohol, Priestley will look at many themes of immorality, therefore he is using alcohol as a dramatic device to covey his message. They don't realise how alcohol has become such an important role in their lives, it almost controls and seems to have an effect on all of their actions. The more dependant they become the more they'd do to get hold of it, this leads them to become immoral and irresponsible. Using alcohol Priestley allows the audience to see the various themes. The palace bar is not 'exactly high class'; by being in these environments and committing immoral acts, he goes on to virtually rape Eva smith. This shows us the decadent behaviour, despite being the son of a high status man; this is what he goes on to do. Alcohol plays such an important role in their lives, but they don't see it, they fail to realise how dependant they are on alcohol and how they do not face up to responsibilities. We also see that alcohol was a source of courage for Eric, as he stands up to his father. We now start to see similarities in characters actions, Arthur Birling, when in trouble hoped rescue by his status, now we see Eric in trouble, and his true character is under interrogation, he goes to alcohol. ...read more.


All the cases above are influenced by Alcohol, e.g. the place bar e.t.c. Priestley is using Alcohol as a physical manifestation of the corruption and hypocrisy of pre-world war society. Through tinted bottles of wine we see the decadence. He is showing, by exploring the different themes of responsibility and status, that society is towards destruction in the hands of the capitalists. The 'low classes' are suffering from this; Priestley also makes political reference, 'Alderman Meggarty goes to the palace bar, drinks alot' He implies that where there is power there is corruption and the capitalist where generally in power. On the account of hearing this Mrs Birling was absolutely staggered by this, Priestley shows how pompous they are as they believe no one has the right to go against them, despite there being clear corruption; this also shows the suffocating hypocrisy they live in. Therefore written in 1946 near WW2, Priestley is saying that society is making the same mistakes as in WW1, the lesson was not learnt on Eva smith's death, and he is warning society. He emphasises, if men will not learn his lesson, they will be taught in 'Blood, fire and anguish'. Society needs change. In conclusion, the dramatic device has produced a specific effect on the audience; it has enabled us to explore the themes in society of morality, class, families and responsibility. The message has been clearly displayed through these uses. From what seemed to be just a detective story it has truly opened to a whole new genre. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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