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inspector calls The introduction to the play offers a lengthy description of the set, helping the audience to picture the scene

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An Inspector Calls The introduction to the play offers a lengthy description of the set, helping the audience to picture the scene. With the help from some useful descriptions of the characters, I think the director in the production succeeded to get all the detail across. For example, Mr Birling is a: - "Rather portentous man...rather provincial in his speech" while Mrs Birling is "a rather cold woman and her husband's social superior". These attributes of 'portentousness' and 'coldness' are central to these two characters, and help to explain their behaviour towards Eva Smith. Priestley prepares the audience before the arrival of the inspector by what Mr. Birling declares: "The Titanic.... unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable". This suggests to the audience that Birling has no substance to his 'superior' knowledge. Another example of irony from Birling: "People say that war's inevitable and I say fiddlesticks!" This also shows that his beliefs are usually wrong. The audience would have known that the Titanic sank and there was another making it ironic. It shows Birling as unreliable. Priestley shows Birling's philosophy on life:- " If you don't come down sharply on some of these people, they'd soon be asking for the Earth" Before the arrival of the Inspector you can detect unease in the household: - "A man has to make his own way" This shows how selfish Birling is. ...read more.


One person at a time" This emphasizes that he is independent and focused. He gets his point across clearly "Its my duty to ask questions" He gives you an idea about his authority. The inspector often speaks "sternly", "very deliberately", "coolly", "gravely", "steadily" and "with calm authority". He is mainly shown to be in emotional control. In contrast, the Birlings often speak "miserably", "bitterly", "wildly". They are much less in control of their emotions. When the inspector does show emotion, it is harsh and angry: - "Stop! And be quiet for a moment and listen to me." This reflects his outrage at the callous and selfish behaviour of the Birlings. The stage directions often give a helpful indication of how different characters respond to the inspector's interrogation, and how they regard him as a character. For example she: - "Laughs rather hysterically" and tells Gerald that "He [Goole] knows", before looking at him "almost in triumph" Sheila is the only member of the group to perceive that there is something strange and exceptional about the Inspector: - "You talk as if you were responsible". The character that mostly changes is Sheila. ...read more.


It also gives an opportunity for a 'cliff hanger': - "A police inspector is on his way" Just as they are convinced themselves of their innocence, a real inspector is about to devour them. This would leave the audience astonished and unsure. The Inspector's 'fire and blood' speech at the end warns the Birlings, 'in a position of responsibility for others or face dire consequences. Not everyone learns the Inspector's lesson by the end of the play. The Inspector is described as having a 'powerful presence'. He has a 'disconcerting habit of looking hard' at each character, making it impossible for them to avoid his questions. He also knows things an 'ordinary' inspector would not know indicating he may not be a average policeman. Only the younger members of the Birling family accept any responsibility at the end of the play. As the Inspector says, 'we have more effect on the young'. The characters are reflected as differing responses to the news of their role in Eva's death. The stage directions helped to illuminate the dialogue, and added significantly to the play's dramatic impact when I read or studied it. Without the Inspector, there would be no play. He acts as a catalyst; he causes the others to examine their conscience. ...read more.

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