An Inspector Calls

Authors Avatar
First, I think it is appropriate to discuss the structure, which is apparent throughout the production and also whilst reading the text. In many ways, 'An Inspector Calls' is a 'perfect' play as it has elements that are essential for producing a successful production. Throughout the play there is suspense and quite often, I think, an element of shock at the numerous 'discoveries' at so many different stages in the production. There is consistently the infamous 'whodunnit' factor, which helps to keep the audience interested and excited about the whole production in general.

There is also a clear moral message given in the production, perhaps even more than one message. I think that this message is given through the actions of all of the Birlings, but particularly Mr Birling. His 'look after number one' attitude was emphasised at the beginning of the production when he was telling Gerald and Eric about 'the point' in life. So it seems that Priestly's message is that we all live in one community and that it is our duty to help our neighbour. We should not behave like Mr Birling and we should not live in isolation. I think that all of the Birlings are played to behave in the opposite way to this so that we, the audience, can see how stupid and false they look as it is hard to see ourselves like this in everyday life when we are behaving the same.

'An Inspector Calls' is such a unique play because it fails to meet the audience's expectations of a conventional plot-the inspector is not at all what he seems, and he has not come to find out facts about a suicide, as first appears. He is not an inspector, and he already knows the facts!

When thinking about the question and whether the drama and message are indistinguishable, I think that it is necessary to say that at this point I think that at some points the drama and message are indistinguishable (through the actions or the Birlings) but at others they message is bluntly put to the audience in a very direct manner. This happens at the end of the production when the inspector actually addresses the audience personally to inform them of life's morals.
Join now!

The action in the play is continuous and in 'real time.' Everything happens in near enough the same place-in the living room of the Birling's house, or just outside the house in the street. There is such a tight unity of time and place. Throughout the production Priestly manipulates the characters entrances and exits. He exploits the temporary absences. Each is given a convincing reason for arguing and then when they are gone the inspector starts to talk about them and pull threads of information about them from the family. This is an effective strategy because the person ...

This is a preview of the whole essay