Mr.Birling had a high status within his community and by using his authority he attempts to intimidate the inspector by showing power and naming an influential person within his stature. Mr.Birling: How do you get on with our Chief Constable Colonel Roberts?
Inspector: I don’t see much of him. Mr.Birling: I ought to warn you, that he is a old friend of mine, and that I see him frequently. We play golf together sometimes up at west Brumley. Inspector: (dryly) I don’t play golf. Mr. Birling, taking advantage of his social status is trying to mount pressure on the Inspector by informing him he is a man of importance who is in contact with many influential people. Knowing the facts that the inspector has been presented with by Mr.Birling, it seems to have no affect on Inspector Goole neither does it create and fear towards him. Inspector Goole does not seem perturbed as he replies ‘’dryly’’ towards Mr. Birling’s attempted intimidation.
Eric and Sheila's positive response to the Inspector's message, compared to Mr and Mrs Birling's negative response, is also greatly symbolic. Priestley uses this generation divide to show that the younger generation symbolise hope for the future. The fact that they are remorseful of what they have done suggests that they will make a conscious effort to improve human relationships. Unlike their parents, who are only interested in wealth and material items, Priestley shows that the younger generation will make an effort to perform their duties towards their fellow citizens
As many other factors to be considered In this play timing is also crucial.
Birling: A man has to make his own way- has to look after himself- and his family too, of course, when he has one and so long that he does that he wont come to much harm.
Eric: Somebody at the front door. At this very moment Inspector Goole arrives at the front door interrupting the Birling’s during their celebrations. He came at this instant as if he knew what was happening within the household, and what they were talking about. It was as if he came to uncover all the lies that this family was based upon and how other relationships that were about to blossom were being built upon undiscovered lies.
When Gerald confess to Sheila what had happened between him and Eva Smith, the Inspector comes right in after they had finished arguing and he already knew what Gerald was going to confess to, just he was waiting for Gerald to give him a chance. At the end of the play the Birlings had just decided that there was nothing wrong because the Inspector was not real; and then immediately the telephone rang to let the Birlings know that another Inspector was on his way to teach the Birlings their lesson again.
Climaxes are used at the end of every act to help build tension and give the audience time to reflect on what has just happened, so that they have time to make connections between what has been said in the play and to make sense of Priestley's message.
Stage directions and lighting also have a great impact on the type of atmosphere that is created. The lighting was pink and intimate until the inspector arrived, this is when the lighting dramatically changed and became brighter and harder. The reason for the lighting being pink was because of the relationships that were evolving and blooming within the room. The pink created a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The connotations for Pink are peaceful and innocence, this shows us that no one is yet aware of the ordeal that has taken place because they do not yet know that outcome for their actions.
Priestley uses dramatic irony in his dialogue to ridicule Mr Birling with his speeches about the titanic as "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable.", and how "there isn't a chance of war" although the audience know with recollection of the past that the titanic had sunk on its voyage, and that there had been two world wars and now they were emerging into the cold war. These show that the opinions of Mr Birling, a symbol of Capitalism, are based on nothing more than fantasies of how life could be, although this never happens because people are ready to accept that everyone in this world is the same, no matter where they come from and that until we work this out, the world will never develop far enough to stop the wars.
Priestley presents the Inspector as a man of great moral integrity so that the audience can identify with him and respect his views (people who are also socialists) He uses Arthur Birling as a voice for capitalism, who is ridiculed by the Inspector, a representative of socialism. The dialogue between them shows this, as the Inspector repeatedly twists what Birling says, showing that he is the voice of truth. For example,
Inspector: I'm sorry. But you asked me a question.
Birling : And you asked me a question before that, a quite unnecessary question too. Inspector: It's my duty to ask questions"
A meaningful message is held within An Inspector Calls, as well as being a murder mystery, in the way that Preistley uncovers the death of Eva Smith, it is also a moralistic play. Preistley shows the audience how not to live their lives, using dramatic devices to demonstrate this. He makes the audience contemplate over the fact that they are actually "members of one body" and that they are all "responsible for one another" and has made them realise that socialism is the way forward instead of capitalism. In this way, An Inspector Calls is extremely relevant in today's society where people still need to work together and help others around them who are in need. J.B.Priestley effectively uses many dramatic devices in An Inspector Calls, such as symbolism and timings. He applies them in order to portray his political views, using an upper class, Edwardian family and a lower class woman to do so.