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Write in detail about the effect and staging possibilities of two or three exits and entrances in 'An Inspector Calls'.

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Salmaan Bhutta 10.1 An Inspector Calls - Exits and Entrances The Question All exits and entrances are important in a play. Write in detail about the effect and staging possibilities of two or three exits and entrances in 'An Inspector Calls'. For Each * Design a stage plan showing the placements and movements of the characters. * Explain your ideas in relation to previous events in the play. * Refer in detail, using quotation, to the dramatic impact of the dialogue and stage directions. The Answer As the title says, all exits and entrances are important. They are important for different reasons. Some are important because they introduce new characters. Some are important because they cause dramatic tension. Others are important because they start a scene, act or play. I have chosen two entrances and one exit. My entrances are the Inspector walking in on Gerald and Sheila. The other entrance is Eric's appearance after his walk. The exit I have chosen is the Inspector's final exit. An Inspector Calls is true to Aristotle's unities. All of the play takes place in one setting, the house. The action of the play represents no more than one day and takes place in real time. No action or scene is a digression; all contribute to the play's main theme, the death of Eva Smith. Because of Aristotle's unities all the action takes place in one room. Since all the action takes place in one setting all my stage plans will have the same basic shell. The stage changes slightly during the play. At the beginning they are eating so there is a dining table and chairs visible. But later on there are large comfortable chairs and a fireplace. This is true to J.B Priestly's original directions. All my exits and entrances are in the later part of the play so the large chairs and fireplace are on stage. ...read more.


At this point everyone should turn from wherever they were to look at the door awaiting the arrival of the man to be made an example of. There should be a pause before the door opens, and Eric's head pops round the door. I think he should do this rather than a grand entrance like the Inspectors. I think this because it would give the impression of a frightened schoolboy who knows he's done something naughty. In a sense Eric is a frightened schoolboy who knows something bad is going to happen to him and he doesn't quite know what to do in this situation. He should look pale so as to be true to the stage directions. As at the end of Act Two in the other entrance, the curtain then falls. When it rises they should be in exactly the same positions. Then Eric should come though the door and say, "You know, don't you" After this Eric should walk in to the room with his shoulders turned away from them and walk near them. Then he should notice the sideboard and point to it asking for a drink that he goes and gets. He should stay near the sideboard while they're talking. I think the lighting for this scene should be fairly basic so not to distract from the dialogue and action too much. The audience should be able to hear the front door open and then close as if Eric is trying not to make much noise. Then there should be a pause to show Eric is nervous and not sure whether to go into the room or not. The door handle should turn and then Eric's head should be seen just as the curtain falls. The stage directions and dialogue have a lot of dramatic impact in this entrance. The first part of this scene is almost silent because the Inspector has made everybody listen to the front door. ...read more.


"Sheila is still quietly crying"; this again shows Sheila as the weak female that can't live with what she has done. "Mrs Birling has collapsed into a chair," this once more shows she is shocked and has collapsed at what the Inspector has said. The two other characters are standing "Birling the only active one" is moving about and goes to pour himself a drink as if he wants to drown his sorrows. "Eric is brooding desperately" this is yet more evidence that Priestly wanted to show women as the weaker sex. The men are standing because they are strong and can take this or at least hide it. But the women are weak and are crying or have collapsed into a chair making them appear less mentally and physically strong. Priestly's points of view are made clear through dialogue as well. The Inspector's final speech particularly stands out as one of the speeches where it is Priestly talking not just the characters. The speech is Priestly warning about war as well as the Inspector warning the Birlings. He says, "We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other and I tell you the time will come when if man will not learn that lesson, then he will be taught it in fire blood and anguish good night." This clearly is Priestly's view on war and the causes. He is basically saying that if men had taken responsibility for their actions then they would not have been taught a lesson in fire, blood and anguish, and less, or no men, would have died in the trenches or on the beaches as a result of war. This is relevant all through the play. In fact the play could be an analogy of war; each country is shown as a character and Eva is all the millions of dead. As far as I can see "An Inspector Calls" is J.B Priestly's view on life, politics, sociology, class and the division or difference of the sexes and the stage is a good way of getting his points voiced and his message heard. ...read more.

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