An Inspector calls.

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The play begins with the Birling family sitting around the dining room table and enjoying a meal together. The impression that the Birling family gives to the audience is one of a wealthy and happy family. Mr. Birling is sat at the top of the table and this shows that he is the head of the family, everyone seems relaxed and in high spirits, there is no tension or unease. The family’s wealth is shown by the fact that they have maids and a cook. When Mr.Birling says ‘ Well, well-this is very nice. Very nice. Good dinner too, Sybil. Tell cook from me,’ Sybil replies ‘Arthur, you’re not supposed to say such things,’ this is the first apparent sign of snobbery in the play so far. The family is having the special meal to celebrate Sheila Birling and Gerald Crofts’ engagement to be married. They appear to be a loving couple with no problems in their relationship. This is shown by Gerald when he says, ‘I hope I can make you as happy as you deserve to be.’ Later in the play it becomes clear that this remark was very ironic, as Sheila does not deserve to be happy at all following her treatment of Eva Smith.

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Throughout the play, J.B Priestly uses pieces of dramatic irony; this is used to make the audience feel privileged and engaged in the play. Romantic music is played in the first scene, which creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The beginning of the play leads the audience to expect a romance or comedy because the family seems to have a happy, trouble-free life.

This play is a morality play, and this becomes clear as the inspector questions each member of the family. Different characters in the play represent some of the seven deadly sins of pride, sloth, gluttony, envy, covetousness, ...

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