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What makes 'an inspector calls' a good play?

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Introduction

[image002.gif] [image002.gif] What makes `an inspector calls' a good play? In my essay I will describe the play `an inspector calls in good detail and determine whether J.B Priestley's Play is good or not. I will find out information to back up my answers. J.B Priestly wrote the play mainly to criticise the society he lived in. The whole play was set in a dining room in the Birling household in a little city in Brumley. Brumley is a fictional industrial city in the north midlands. The household consists of four members, Arthur, Sybil, Sheila and Eric Birling there is also a housemaid she lives in the house with the Birlings, she is called Edna. The play was written in the winter of 1944-5 it was finalised in a week. The play is set in 1912 before the start of World War 1. J.B priestly was born in Bedford in 1899 he worked in a local woollen firm, but soon wrote poems and stories which became his main occupation. In 1914 he fought in France with the army. In the Second World War he was a weekly wartime presenter on the radio for a year in 1957 he helped launch the campaign for nuclear disarmament (cnd). J.B Priestly used this play as an opportunity to explore his views on the society he lived in by setting the play in 1912 he ...read more.

Middle

All the Birlings and Gerald Croft are inside the dining room having a normal family dinner party until there is a knock at the door and enters Inspector Goole. He enters with the news of the death by suicide of Eva Smith, as soon as the inspector enters he creates an impression of massiveness and purposefulness. As the involvement of each of the family members is revealed, the play becomes that of a `who dunnit' and the Inspector slowly but surely unravelling the history of Eva Smith. J.B Priestly keeps the audience in suspense by having a well-structured and controlled plot and so the audience is left on `tender hooks' at the end of each of the acts, this puts tension into the play. Sheila: Why you fool-he knows of course he knows and I hate to think how much he knows that we don't know yet. You'll see, you'll see. Inspector Goole: Well? At the end of this act you can see that you don't know what is going to be said next and you are just waiting to hear what is going to be said. At this time the audience is experiencing events at the same time as the characters are. The inspector is a very important character in this play he has a great impact on each of the characters you get to know a bit more about the different character as he systematically interrogates the different characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

The whodunit genre keeps the audience guessing all the way through the play, and as clues are solved and the culprit becomes clearer, but as soon as one thinks he or she knows who it is Priestley cleverly seems to switch to the inspecting of another character. This makes the audience engrossed in the action that is happening on-stage. Throughout the play I have learnt a lot about the Birlings, their good qualities and their weaknesses. I think Priestley�s message of the play was to explain to us that if we are like the Birling�s then we need to change, and be more considerate and caring towards others, "We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other" This is the sentence taken from the inspector�s last speech and I think that it sums up exactly what Priestley was trying to get across. Priestley may have experienced difficulties during wartime; this may have led him to believe that in order to live in a peaceful world man must consider his responsibility to fellow men. I think that this play would have made an impact on its audience, the message was very poignant considering the country had just suffered a Second World War. The moral of `An Inspector Calls' is that no matter what class we are we are all equal and that we must work together. Priestly wanted to get this moral across, I think he did, but unfortunately there will always be people like the Birling's. ...read more.

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