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What is the style of 'An Inspector Calls' - comedy, detective thriller, modern morality? How would the audience's interest and attention be sustained during a performance?

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Introduction

What is the style of 'An Inspector Calls' - comedy, detective thriller, modern morality? How would the audience's interest and attention be sustained during a performance? "An Inspector Calls" is set in England, in a town called Brumley. The date is 1912, two weeks before the Titanic sets sail. The book was written towards the end of the Second World War in 1945. In the play, the house of the Birling family is elaborately decorated in expensive taste and shows that the family are high class and very wealthy. Seated around the table are Mr and Mrs Birling, their son Eric and their daughter Sheila who has just got engaged to Gerald Croft. The atmosphere at the beginning of the play is fairly relaxed. In "An Inspector Calls", Priestley was emphasising the importance of liberty, democracy and faith in ordinary people. He also showed that everybody's actions can have a collective responsibility. "An Inspector Calls" is rarely comic because it is about the death of a young girl and although it has a detective, it is far from a detective thriller. It is, however, a modern morality. Modern morality in "An Inspector Calls" is the ethics in which we should live by that are outlined by Priestley. ...read more.

Middle

SHEILA: But don't you see -" Mrs Birling has just told the Inspector, without realising, that her own son should be punished and is entirely to blame. When she realises what she has done, she is horrified. "MRS B.: (understanding now) But surely . . . I mean . . . it's ridiculous . . ." The plot twists and the 'cliff-hanger' endings within the play help to sustain the audience's attention. The plot twist in the play is that everyone helps to cause the death of the girl, but whether it is the same girl is unknown. They are all shown photographs individually so they are not able to conclude positively that the photographs are of the same person. Inspector Goole told them that it was the way he liked to do it, and Mr Birling saw it as quite reasonable. "INSPECTOR: It's the way I like to go to work. One person and one line of enquiry at a time. Otherwise, there's a muddle. BIRLING: I see. Sensible really." They were all either separately shown photographs or told the name of the girl which she had changed. When the Inspector left, they realised that the photograph shown to them may not have been the same. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eva has died and he is investigating the morbid details of her death, probing into the Birling lives. He has a purpose, to expose the Birling family and make them reveal things about themselves that the others didn't know and make them look immoral. He controls the play and if any of the characters move off the point, he brings them back. It has to be done the way he wants it. As we are told be Mr birling, he does not behave like a real policeman. QUOTE He questions them on the way they acted towards the girl, probing their conscience rather than concentrating on the crime. Towards the end of the play he becomes rude when he questions Mrs Birling. QUOTE - page 41 - "You mean you don't..." The play ends on another 'cliff-hanger' ending but this time there are no answers waiting in the next scene. This keeps the audience guessing and keeps them thinking about "An Inspector Calls". It is cunningly written to 'grab' the audience's attention. I think that overall this play works excellently in entertaining as well as informing the audience. Despite it being enjoyable, it does contain many, hidden, serious messages which Priestley wanted people to be aware of. "An Inspector Calls" entertained me a lot and I enjoyed working on it. It is cleverly written and original. RICHARD GLADWIN 1 ...read more.

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