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inspector calls/ dramatic devices

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Introduction

Tamanna Ullah 10SL English Ms Murali GCSE Pre-1914 English Literature Coursework An Inspector Calls In Act One of 'An Inspector Calls', how does J.B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas to members of the audience, as well as interest and involve them in the play? An Inspector Calls is a play written in 1945 by the British dramatist J. B. Priestley. It was first performed in 1945. It was then first produced in London at the New Theatre on 1 October 1946. The play reflects Priestley's socialist views whilst outlining the problems he saw with capitalism. On the surface, An Inspector Calls is a detective thriller where one family have collectively caused the suicide of a young working-class girl, Eva Smith. However, the exact meaning only strengthens Priestley's deep moral judgement of society, a society built with egotism, selfishness and irresponsibility as opposed to a society which should be maintained with love, responsibility and self-respect. This play elevates the idea of socialism and a society in which responsibility and community are the central focus. Priestley uses many dramatic devices, such as dramatic irony and tension in order to convey this political message throughout the play. He uses them appropriately for the time in which he is writing the play and for the time in which the play was set. ...read more.

Middle

The description of its 'sharp' emphasises to the audience the importance of this doorbell. The sharp effect is used as a symbolic sound effect. Before the doorbell rang, the Birlings life was going as normal, but as soon as the doorbell rang, the Inspector makes his mark and changes everything. The momentum of act one changes here; a subtle stage direction enticing the audience with the Inspector and his mysterious character. The character of the Inspector has also been used as en effective dramatic device. He is used to convey his message, as a speaker to Priestley's views. He makes it seem as though socialism is the honest and true way to live. The Inspector does not use euphemisms and instead uses graphic imagery in order to shock the Birlings into giving him information. His strong character does not beat around the bush and gets straight to the point. 'She'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant. Burnt her insides out, of course.' He has an almost ghostly presence. The Inspector is used to 'correct' the capitalists. In my opinion, the most influential dramatic device of act one is the introduction of the Inspector. Priestley uses the stage direction to impress the audience with this new character: 'The Inspector need not be a big man but he creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness...He speaks carefully, weightily and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person before actually speaking.' ...read more.

Conclusion

The Inspector also teaches the audience, as Priestley's voice, that due to people like the Birlings we live in a selfish society, a society where we CHOOSE to act selfishly rather than how Priestley believes we should. I have learnt that we should live in a society where we have a collective responsibility, where we have more regard for people and Priestley wants us to continue this duty today, because like in the house of the Birlings, the younger generation are the society's step forward to a better society. This is the aim of the play as Priestley attempts to captivate the audience through dramatic devices. For example his use of dramatic irony, lighting, exits and entrances of characters, stage directions, and the end of the act manipulate the perspective of the audience in their ideas of society and to underline is point on how we abandon our responsibility. The Inspector is also a vital device and influential in portraying Priestley's views. However, he is not only the conscience of the play, searching for moral justice but he also acts as a voice to convey the thoughts of Priestley. Nonetheless, he is extremely important because as a character he captivates the interest of the audience, who by the end of the act, should be asking, can we really break the shackles of our meaningless hierarchy of society to consider our collective responsibility that we owe to each and every member of that society? ...read more.

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