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An Inspector Calls Essay Timing and stage directions are central to the text as a play. What is the role of these techniques in the play?

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Introduction

An Inspector Calls Essay Timing and stage directions are central to the text as a play. What is the role of these techniques in the play? Priestley's main idea is that "we are members of one body" and need to take care of each other. He expresses this through the death of Eva Smith and inspector Goole. Also the inspector tries to warn about ww1 through Goole's and speech "fire, blood and aguish", "we don't live alone. We are members of one body." Priestley's tries to show that pride comes before a fall especially false shown by characters. Pride is shown as being rooted in shallow soil, with no important base. Also Priestley explores the idea of lies and now the characters lie to each other and themselves. Other lies concern how characters define respectability and truth. Moreover, the play points out the need for responsibility in every member of society; responsibility for each other, not only for individual actions, but also how they affect others. The inspector voices Priestley's views throughout the play most strongly but is joined by Sheila and, to a lesser degree, by Eric. Stage directions are important in the play as they can describe characters through actions and reactions. Stage directions at the start of the play establish a typical murder mystery. ...read more.

Middle

He is also disgusted and enraged by how badly Eva Smith has been treated by all of the family for their selfish reasons. He warns "Public men, Mr Burling, have responsibilities as well as privileges" Timing is central to the play. When the inspector says that Eva Smith changed her name to Daisy Renton, Gerald's reaction "what?" gives him away as he cuts the inspectors speech building tension in the audience. The stage directions say "startled" here and that would show Gerald's involvement in the scene creating extra tension. Also Gerald saying "what?" also startles the audience having a 'mimic' effect. This effect is created by the actions in stage directions of that character and is a typical example of the role of stage directions and timing in the play. Furthermore timing is used to delay to add more tension and leave the audience on cliff hangers. For example Act 1 ending when the audience finds out Gerald is involved too. Not to mention when the audience has to wait longer while "he goes across to the Tantalus on the sideboard for a whisky". Likewise his conversation with Sheila creates more tension as they want to know the whole story. There are only three acts in the play. They are held there to create tension in the audience and create cliff hangers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also when Birling "produces a huge sigh of relief" the audience also produces a huge sense of relief but there is a false sense of security too. That is because Sheila is still "tensely" and "passionately" thinking about the issues raised. In addition to this when the "telephone rang sharply" at the end and a real inspector was coming to inspect, a mockery was made of Gerald and Mr and Mrs Birling's elaborate self-congratulation. Also Goole's name attracts attention increasing the tension and keeping the audience wanting more. In conclusion timing and stage directions are central to and play however in this play they are crucial as they cause the most integral impacts on the audience. This works well as the genre of this play is a murder mystery. Stage directions emphasise emotions, thoughts and personality and help the audience understand the mystery whereas timing causes the audience to wait to build up tension. They both together tell the audience far more than speech. Additionally correct timing can provide time for the audience to try and predict what's upcoming and get a better sense of the plot. The best examples of this are "there is a moment of complete silence" after the phone rings; "they stare guiltily and dumbfounded". Another example is "he puts the telephone down slowly and looks in a panic stricken fashion at the others". This proves to the reader how timing and stage direction are central to the play and how integral their role is. ...read more.

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