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What was Priestley’s purpose in writing An Inspector Calls? Show how in two of the roles the actors/actress can make this purpose clear to the audience and increase the dramatic tension.

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Chiltern Edge School Nicola Kiely English Literature Coursework: Drama An Inspector Calls What was Priestley's purpose in writing An Inspector Calls? Show how in two of the roles the actors/actress can make this purpose clear to the audience and increase the dramatic tension. An Inspector Calls was written in 1944 by J.B Priestley an established and well-acclaimed playwright from Yorkshire. The play is set in a fictitious industrial town called Brumley, in the Midlands in 1912. While An Inspector Calls proved to be popular with its audiences, it was written like most plays with a purpose and message to make the audience relate to the play and think about what they have just seen. In this case Priestley's play was written with a political purpose. He wanted it to lead to victory for Labour in the General Election after the war was over and to make a contribution to the public understanding of how people responded to social class in 1912. "I have an idea that your mother Lady Croft, while she does not object to my girl- feels you may have done better for yourself socially" (Mr Birling, Page 8) The message which I think Priestley is trying to give through the characters and text is that no one is alone, that our actions can lead to another person's actions and also that we are all responsible for each other. ...read more.


Inspector: "I don't see much of him" Birling: " Perhaps I should warn you that he's an old friend of Mine, and that I see him quite frequently. (Mr Birling and The Inspector, Page 16) He also does not think about other people when responding to them, as when he refused Eva Smith a pay rise and then sacked her. This part of the play could also show how Mr Birling's actions may have partly led to Eva's death. Mr Birling acts in a very strong way and is a strong believer that a man has to make his own way and does not realise the harm he causes people with his obnoxious attitude. He represents Priestley's hatred of Businessmen who are only interested in making money and will never learn from their mistakes. The younger generation are left to learn from their own mistakes. His role should be acted very confidently and he should be afraid of nothing, he should also be impatient and show some humour at times when necessary. When being questioned he should stand up and walk around (when the Inspector is sitting) to show that he thinks he is better than the Inspector. Sheila Birling starts the play very happy and pleased with life. ...read more.


Her role should be acted very carefully as she needs to show a lot of emotions in the play. She goes from being very happy with life at the beginning to very guilty and shocked at the end. When she is being questioned, I think that she would sit down to show that she is slightly afraid of the Inspector at times, but would like to help with the inquiry and help get her family out of this mess. I think the play is very well written and even though it was written 55 years ago it still has a valid message that we can learn from for years to come. The play can be enjoyed by all ages and has a very exciting ending that many plays lack nowadays. Its message can also relate to the World Wars I & II, which Priestley lived through by making people learn from mistakes and live as members of one body together equally so that such atrocities never happen again. As the Inspector says, "We are all members of one body. We are all responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night." ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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