By what means has J.B Priestly created dramatic tension at the end of act two (pages 40-49) in 'An Inspector Calls'. How could you reinforce the tension as the director of this section of the play? An inspector calls by J.B Priestly.

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By what means has J.B Priestly created dramatic tension at the end of act two (pages 40-49) in ‘An Inspector Calls’. How could you reinforce the tension as the director of this section of the play? An inspector calls by J.B Priestly.

Dramatic tension can be created in many ways. Perhaps how the scene is set can create dramatic tension for example: a murder could have red lighting, symbolic of blood. The room could be darkened symbolizing the mood of the act.
The characters can also create dramatic tension in the way they act. The character could act suspiciously, an example of this would be in the play when Gerald recognises the name Daisy Renton, but when questioned by Sheila, refuses all knowledge of her. Another characteristic of tension is panic, in order to show a character’s distress they become hysterical or very jumpy. Hysteria is shown in Sheila in the end of act one and beginning of act two.  Gerald even suggests this when he says, “ Inspector, I think Miss Birling ought to be excused any more of this questioning. She’s nothing more to tell you. She’s had a long, exciting and tiring day- we were celebrating our engagement, you know– and know she’s obviously had about as much as she can stand. You heard her.” Sheila then goes on to say, “He means that I’m getting hysterical now.” There are many points of tension in act 2 of An Inspector Calls, pages 40-49:

Sheila gives Gerald’s engagement ring back to him, which is a very strong, visible reaction to the inspector’s presence and questioning.  He has created great tension between them because Gerald has betrayed her. With Gerald’s secret affair out in the open, they no longer feel the same about one another but Sheila respects Gerald’s honesty and willingness to confess in contrast to her mother who is very unwilling to reveal the truth.
Mr Birling tries to interfere in Sheila’s decision to break the engagement. ‘’Mr Birling- but you must understand that a lot of young men‘’

‘’Sheila- Don’t interfere, please father.’’ Tension is built between Mr Birling, feeling he is head of the household and in charge of Sheila and her decision, and Sheila, making independent decisions in the heat of the moment.
Gerald leaves they watch him go in silence and then he slams the door behind him. This shows Gerald’s physical anger and rage that his engagement has now been called off. Although Gerald seems very polite and calm whilst talking, this act shows that his emotions have been deeply suppressed. The family watch him go in silence this is very dramatic.

The inspectors interruption and repetition of ‘’you’d better look at it’’ establishes his power over Mrs Birling in the battle between the two to make Mrs Birling

The inspector shows Mrs Birling the photograph of Eva Smith (Daisy Renton). Mrs Birling claims that she has never seen the girl before. The inspector says, “ You’re not telling me the truth.” Both Mr and Mrs Birling are outraged by this Mrs Birling says ‘’ I beg your pardon!’’ this shows that Mrs Birling is not used to being contradicted. Mr Birling and the inspector engage in an argument. This shows tension between these two gentlemen each of them wanting to be the authority figure in the household. Mr Birling’s direction for his speech is ‘angrily’. The inspectors direction is ‘Massively,’ which is a larger, more over powering response. It shows the Inspector’s speech has more control and purpose. The inspector is a man of the law and has no right to be challenged.
Sheila challenges her Mother’s claims of not knowing the girl. She says, “I know jolly well you did in fact recognise her, from the way you looked. And if you’re not telling the truth, why should the inspector apologize? And can’t you see, both of you, you’re making it worse?” Sheila summarises the plot so far for audience and confirms that she is on the inspector’s side.
The door slams for a second time. This creates tension as the audience is left to wonder if it is either Gerald who has returned or Eric  who has left in a drunken state. Mr. Birling exits to find out who it is, reinforcing the importance of this dramatic act. He also exits quickly showing urgency.
The inspector enquires as to Mrs Birling’s job. She works for an organisation to which women in distress can appeal for help in various forms. This is an  interesting twist to the play,  Mrs. Birling is given the persona of a good charitable woman. Her job does not seem to put her in the same guilty position as the other characters. How could she have played a part in Eva Smith’s suicide? Surely Eva, with no job and no decent living place, could only have been helped by someone in Mrs Birling’s position. There is a contrast between the inspector saying a line calmly and then later on he says a line severely this creates tension.

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Mr. Birling returns after looking to see who had left the house. He claims it was Eric who had left so suddenly. Mrs. Birling is alarmed by this, questioning her husband as to where he checked and hoping that he could have been mistaken. Mr. Birling then goes on to say,   “He was in one of his excitable, queer moods.” Mr. Birling refers to his son as if he were a child. He has shown this on more than two occasions. One was when they were drinking before the inspector arrived, he and Gerald were both mocking Eric, and belittling ...

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