• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What dramatic features does J.B Priestley rely on in his play 'An Inspector Calls' and how far would these features appeal to the audience?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What dramatic features does J.B Priestley rely on in his play 'An Inspector Calls' and how far would these features appeal to the audience? J.B Priestley was born on the 13th September 1894, in Bradford, Yorkshire. At the age of 16, J.B Priestley decided to leave school, and as it states in his autobiography 'Margin Released', he wanted to write rather than work towards a university scholarship. In 1910, J.B Priestley became a 'very junior clerk', working with the local wool firm of Helm and Company. Between the years, 1911-1914, he gained much of his experience for writing, by being surrounded by people who read a great deal, and becoming involved with his fathers circle of socialist friends and joining them in their political arguments. In 1914 J.B Priestley joined world war one, at the age of 20. In 1919 he left the army and took a place at Cambridge University, reading modern history and political science. After Priestley got his degree, he decided that academic life did not sure him. In 1921, therefore he left for London, with newly wed wife, where he became a freelance writer. J.B Priestley managed to write consistently, following the death of his first wife from cancer, and his remarriage. Priestley's great achievement and his consistency to write allowed him to burrow his roots as a writer, as he wrote the following books: 'The Good Companions' and the 'Angel Pavement'. ...read more.

Middle

J.B Priestley thought it was wrong for society to treat people like Eva Smith like that. Would the same thing happen to her if she lived in 1946 is the question being asked to the audience. When J.B Priestley wrote his plays, he used a number of dramatic devices and wrote so it followed a classical structure. The classical structure he followed was similar to Greek drama. Greek drama had a simple pattern of three unities, which were action, time, and place. The Greek unity meant that there was only one story line, no sub-plots. The second unity of time required the whole of the action to take place within a twenty-four hour period, and the third unity of place, meant that it should take place in one setting. In 'An Inspector calls' there was only one storyline, and this storyline was that a girl, Eva Smith, commits suicide, and everybody in the house at this time were to blame, in some way, for the death of Eva Smith. The story is very different to many others as it begins to unravel as it goes on, thus confirming the first unity of action. The second unity of time is also confirmed because all the action takes place in a short period of time, properly about one to two hours. Stage time and real time are exactly the same; the only slight adjustment to chronology is the order in which the Inspector questions each of the Birlings. ...read more.

Conclusion

The particular way the entrances and exits are used adds to the drama and suspense of the play. A particular dramatic point in the play occurs at the end of Act 1, when Sheila and Gerald have been disgusting Gerald's relationship with Eva Smith. Gerald thinks he can keep certain details from the Inspector, but Sheila is all too aware that this is not possible, stating "Why - you fool - he knows, knows that we don't known yet." At this point the Inspector enters, looking steadily and searchingly at them and asks "Well?" The stage directions clearly reveal that the Inspector does know all the facts, thus increasing the tension of the moment. From this we can see that, Priestley has very cleverly structured the play to show the links between the characters and their involvement with the main character Eva Smith. His use of dramatic devices helps to sustain the tension, focusing the audience's interest and attention. I also believe that in-crafting 'An Inspector Calls' he has achieved his aim of making the audience think as at the end of the play we are left contemplating a number of issues and ideas, not least of which is what will happen next as Mr Birling answers the phone and informs his family that a girl has died having swallowed some disinfectant. The final twist of the play is, he makes us wonder how the characters will react with time, and, have they learnt their lesson? English Drama Coursework Kieran Sigsworth ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Priestley create dramatic tension in Act 1 of An Inspector Calls up ...

    3 star(s)

    York in five days time - and every luxury - and unsinkable" This makes Mr Birling seem stupid, as the audience already know the Titanic did sink. He also states, "I say there isn't a chance of war" and talks about that for quite a long time.

  2. Inspector Calls A Grade

    Throughout the play, the character's relationships with one another change and deteriorate. The younger generation seems to be more sympathetic, partially because they are closer to Eva's age and partially because at such a young age they have yet to learn, therefore feel quite shocked from the events that have occurred.

  1. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    Have they completely forgot about their inappropriate behaviour and what they did to Eva Smith? They think that everything is back to normal now, but Sheila disagrees, sarcastically pronouncing, "I suppose we're all nice people now."

  2. How does J.B. Priestley create dramatic tension and suspense in Act One of "An ...

    When Sheila runs off the stage after recognising Eva's photo, Birling, predictably, is irritated by this and when he tells the Inspector about the "nasty mess", the Inspector responds with a similar comment about Eva. After this, Birling thinks twice about retorting, and exits, slamming the door, which can only possibly mean that he is agitated.

  1. Entrances and exits can provide many moments of dramatic tension in theatre. In An ...

    the Inspector was questioning Mr Birling, Sheila seemed to come across as confident as well as sympathetic. Sheilas' exit also reveals she is hiding something to do with Eva Smith, as she didn't just walk out, she ran out. My final exit is Inspector Gooles' exit towards the end of the play in Act 3.

  2. How does Priestley create tension in the play through characterisation, structure and atmosphere?

    Eric is desperately brooding, and Birling is the only one left active. The audience is given tension at what a high impact impression the Inspector has left the Birling family. The family starts making digs at each other blaming each other for what has happened.

  1. How Far Does "An Inspector Calls" Fit Into the Genre of Detective Fiction?

    Still no evidence was shown. Eva felt as if there would never be anything good for her again. Gerald then leaves for a walk. Another interrogation means another step into persuading the audience that "An Inspector Calls" is detective fiction, and the audience begin to suspect that there are more interrogations to come.

  2. How Does J.B Priestley Reveal The Hypocrisy of The Edwardian Era In "An Inspector ...

    We do not live alone. We are members of one body." The inspector is the individual who shows symbolism in all characters such as Eva - representing the entire lower / working class : " . . one Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work