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The opening act of the play, "An Inspector Calls" sets the tone for the following acts and prepares the audience for what is to come later on in the play.

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The opening act of the play, "An Inspector Calls" sets the tone for the following acts and prepares the audience for what is to come later on in the play. During a special dinner to celebrate the engagement between Sheila Birling and business associate/family friend Gerald, subliminal hints are dropped. It is these clues that determine the way that we, the audience portray each character for the remainder of the play. J.B Priestly disguises these hints in speeches and actions of a character. I will discuss how these clues alter our views on each character and how they keep us guessing throughout the play. Stage directions also play a significant part in the job of setting the tone for the duration of the production. The actions of a character and the manner in which a they carry themselves on stage gives a slightly blurry picture of their inner thoughts and feelings. Combined with the manner in which questions are answered and speeches are delivered, this picture becomes increasingly clearer. These hints are immediately evident minutes into the play. Preistly's clever use of character conversation along with dramatic irony is a prime example of how a speech can completely modify our attitude towards a character. We are introduced to Arthur Birling, arguably the central character of the play, and an impression is gathered of a wise, gentleman. ...read more.


The dictionary meaning of the word GHOUL, is someone who takes pleasure in others misfortunes. Though the inspector's name is spelled slightly differently, but pronounce the same. This could be a subliminal hint on what we will later discover. As we know already, this turns out to be true as the Inspector is revealed as an impostor. During the interrogation, we discover a lot more information on each character. We also learn that Mrs Birling inherits some of the characteristics of her husband. She to is confident but arrogant, selfish and unpleasant. This is shown during the way that she answers the detective. She shows an enormous amount of determination in an effort not to be caught out by the detective. She is the only family member not to succumb under the pressure and reveal any important information to the Inspector. She shows her selfishness as she drops her son Eric into the deep end so she can escape. Mr Birling shows a style in his survival of the inspector reflecting his "every man for himself speech". He shows selfishness as he tries to clear his name from this scandal. He is prepared to go to any lengths and has no regard for any other of the family members. This is perfectly summed up by his reaction when the Inspectors announces that he has not only come to see Mr Birling. ...read more.


This is an appropriate send off for the inspector giving the play a strong message which can be related to life. The audience could have used the misinformed predictions Mr Birling to predict the mood at the ending of the play. The begging of the play is in a mood of joy and happiness. We knew that all of Birlings information would be correct if reversed. Therefore, if we reversed the current mood of the opening scene, you would have figured out the mood of the ending of the play. A house filled with sadness and regret. It is the exact opposite of the mood in the opening scene. To conclude, the opening scene reflects largely upon what will happen later on in the play. The seeds are sown and throughout the production, the plot and theme grow and get stronger. Actions and speeches made at the beginning are cleverly intertwined with those at the opposite end of the play. This enables us to make fairly accurate predictions on the outcome of the play. The mysteries surrounding Eva Smith's death and who Inspector Goole actually was, are never solved. This kept me thinking and guessing even after the production had concluded. Overall, the nature of the play and the subliminal clues placed for the audience allows us to foresee later actions of characters which can then use to help solve the crime ourselves. It is this that keeps the production mysterious, intriguing exciting and entertaining. ...read more.

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