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Why would 'An Inspector Calls' be an effective piece of theatre to watch?

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Why would 'An Inspector Calls' be an effective piece of theatre to watch? J.B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' is a clever play that attacks the social problems of his time; it contains all the essential parts to make an excellently devised play, this is because of the well-formulated use of dramatic irony. It is captivating, and holds the attention of the audience; it does this by reaching climaxes and then closing the act before the climax is dropped, this embraces the audience in a sense of anxiety; which makes them want to watch more. The style of the play seems at first glance to be that of a straightforward, detective thriller; but as the plot is revealed there is hidden truth about the characters. The Inspector is a channel for Priestley's views. He is meant to be our conscience. He speaks with determination and truth; without embarrassment or of thought of what people think of him, 'Eric Could I have a drink? Birling (explosively) No! Inspector (firmly) Yes. He needs a drink.' Even though it is Mr. Birling's household; he does not intimidate the Inspector. This tells us that the Inspector is psychologically stronger than Mr. ...read more.


The Inspector constantly refers back to the dismissal of Eva from Mr. Birling's factory; because he wants to make sure that the audience and himself know that he exploits his workforce to make profit, 'Birling lower costs, higher prices, that's what I say.' When the Inspector reveals this information about the exploitation of his workers the audience empathise for them, and start thinking how cruel Mr. Birling really is. This would create a tense atmosphere in the theatre, especially when Mr. Birling speaks. Birling wasn't brought up in an upper class family; he had to work his way from a working class employee to owning his own factory. You can suspect that he was brought up this way because he tries to act respectful and powerful, but he sometimes forgets that he is supposed to be an upper class social member in the hierarchy of the modern world, you can tell this by the way he speaks compared to the way Mrs. Birling speaks, who was brought up in a higher class family, 'Birling I can't think there can be of any great consequence.' compared to 'Mrs. B her story was that he had said something one night.' ...read more.


'Sheila you were like a wonderful Fairy Prince.' This is the opinion of Sheila's, she would have said this because this is what she must feel for Gerald. The audience would like Sheila and Gerald to be together. Gerald only uses basic syntax, 'Gerald I see. Well, I was expecting this.' This creates the image of simplicity and truth, and makes the audience associate with him; this forms an intermediate bond with each spectator. Eric is the last person to be interrogated; but by this time we are sub consciously thinking that he is going to become involved, because it is pure logic that he should be the next one questioned. Eric is the last person who was involved with Eva. At the beginning of the play Eric doesn't say anything compared to the other characters. We are not informed of the departure of Eric; Priestley has deliberately done this to give a sense of suspicion, this keeps the audience guessing where he is, this would create an atmosphere of confusion. Even though 'An Inspector Calls' is a very well made play Priestley tries to emphasise the importance of the care of others. Priestley was a socialist in his time, unlike most of the people around; they were only interested in exploiting people, like Mr. Birling. Priestley believed that everyone should share their wealth or at least help those in need. Written By Jonathon Giddings ...read more.

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