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The end of Act 2 of 'An Inspector Calls' is full of suspense and tension.

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Introduction

An Inspector Calls The end of Act 2 of 'An Inspector Calls' is full of suspense and tension. How does Priestley create these effects? J B Priestley's: an inspector calls is a 20th century mystery play set in 1912,before world war one. The end of Act 2 is full with suspense and tension as all the clues that have been dropped finally come to sense to the audience. Although it is not mentioned, Priestley makes it clear that the inspector knew that Eric Birling was the father of Eva Smith's child and had wanted for Ms Birling to declare what punishment she believed should be given to the young man "Make sure that he's compelled to confess in public his responsibility." The stage direction (with sudden alarm) adds to the tension that Priestley has successfully built thus far. When Sheila says "mother stop-stop" this creates tension and excitement within the audience due to the curiosity of what she may know. At this point in the play we are being drawn into what is happening on stage and being filled with curiosity of what the characters are talking about. In the play so far, the audience have learnt that Mr Birling had Eva Smith work for him before he had fired her; Sheila Birling had got Eva Smith fired from her new placement because she was ...read more.

Middle

The third and fourth clue is when Sheila tells her mother "stop, stop" and "But don't you see". The use of the of the exclamation mark and the interruptions in the speech helps to build the anticipation that Sheila has discovered the fact that her brother is the father and is trying to make her mother understand and stop her from making a big mistake and blaming the problem all on her own son-without knowing of course. Another dramatic device used is the silence in the stage direction and the end of the act when Eric re-enters the scene looking pale and distressed. This is the perfect confirmation that he is the father -yet Priestley does this by his facial expressions- not through speech, which has a great impact upon the audience. Mrs Birling's general speech and behaviour in the text is quite irrational and the information about things had to be forced out of her by the Inspector, who used a tone that was forcefully persuasive. The stage directions 'severely' and 'cutting in sharp' express the tone of voice he was trying to use with her. Priestley has used this effectively as we as an audience can feel the sharpness that there is. The words that Priestley also uses for the Inspector- "you mean you don't choose to do", "you're not telling me the truth" ...read more.

Conclusion

final tense feeling to all the suspense that he was trying to build up, uses words like- 'terrified now', 'Thunderstruck', 'agitated', 'curtains fall quickly'. This helps to keep us engaged to the rest of the play. Towards the end of the act there is a slight disagreement seen between the two parents; Mr and Mrs Birling -"I don't believe it. I won't believe it..." as they don't believe that Eric, who is seen as shy and confused, could be mixed up in something like this. This creates conflict between the family members because the Inspector has revealed secrets about them that they had wanted nobody to know. Suspense is actually shown at the end of the act because the family members are all sharing inquiring looks. We, as an audience want for our suspicions of Eric being the father to be confirmed. Although Eric does not even speak, the stage direction of him being "extremely pale and distressed" makes the audience want to continue watching all the way through to act 3. The use of just a stage direction to end the scene is useful and has a powerful impact on the audience because everyone is staring at Eric and all is silent except for the sound of the front door... ?? ?? ?? ?? Nazia Begum 10L Ms. Sharma Drama C/W English 05/01/2008 1of 3 ...read more.

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