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"The Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestly plays a crucial role in the drama creating tension and mystery by forcing the family to face up to their responsibility"

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Introduction

"The Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestly plays a crucial role in the drama creating tension and mystery by forcing the family to face up to their responsibility" How does the playwright create this tension and mystery and explain how you would direct the actor playing the inspector to bring these traits out? The play An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 within a week of World War Two ending but is set before World War One. J B Priestley wrote this play intentionally as he saw an urgent need for social change and used the play to express his desire for social equality. The time span between the dates used (1945-1912) is to make us aware of what has happened and learn from mistakes made. Priestley hoped his play would give society the chance with hindsight to look back on the past and not just carry on life in the same way as before. J.B. Priestley took full advantage of writing in hindsight and makes sure that it will make the audience realize how wrong they may have been assuming future events. The play is set in an industrial city in the Midlands of 1912 concerns a wealthy industrial Arthur Birling, his family, the fianc� Gerald Croft and an Inspector. It shows how the family each helps to destroy a young woman's life, Eva Smith through their selfish and callous attitudes which results in her death. ...read more.

Middle

They are set so far away from the community that they did not even realise that Eva Smith had died, let alone how they helped to kill her, they find this out only when the Inspector brings it to their attention. Even though "An Inspector Calls" is a very well-made play Priestley really tries to hit home the importance of "Love thy neighbour". Priestley was a socialist in his time, unlike most of the people around that time who were only interested in monopolising and individual gain. Priestley believed that everyone should either share their wealth or at least help the needier. He thought that the continuing monopolising of the system would be immorally wrong and selfish. At the beginning of the play, J.B. Priestley gives a very elaborate and detailed amount of stage settings, lighting and character descriptions. I feel that these details were meant to linger throughout the play on the set. For example "The general effect is substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy and home like." This should be portrayed through the extremely large table which is the central point of the beginning. The size of the table shows that although the characters are a family, they aren't close, not even to eat and celebrate with each other. At the very beginning the audience should be led into the production through some very grand doors, to feast the eyes on a 'perfect� family enjoying a family celebration. ...read more.

Conclusion

the Inspectors voice, the Inspector will then have a slight understanding for Gerald's actions and he will accept that although Gerald does not seem king now, he is when he feels he has to be, the Inspector wont show him any respect for what he has done nor will he sympathise with him. When the Inspector communicates with Eric he will already be in an understanding mood because of his sympathy for Sheila and because of his knowledge of the situation, he will also develop a level of respect for Eric as a weak person who was strong when he had to be and for that reason the Inspector will not cross examine Eric. When the Inspector speaks to Mrs Birling he will start with a pitiful tone in his voice, pity for the children of Mr and Mrs Birling, he will then move more towards a pathetic look on her behalf and finally disgust and satisfaction for pointing out her errors. His final speech will be aimed mostly at Mr Birling and Gerald Croft for still feeling pompous, he knows that his work with Eric and Sheila is finished because they understand their errors and he feels that Mrs Birling will be truly disappointed by the events when the people around her find out her wickedness. The will leave by Sheila moving over to open the door for him, at no time during the play will the Inspector make any tender movements, he will sit in a chair which has already been drawn out. Navid Moosavi-Hejazi ...read more.

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