How Does J.B Priestly Use Dramatic Devices To Shock & Entertain The Auidence In 'An Inspector Calls..'

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How Does J.B Priestly Use Dramatic Devices To Build Tension?

J.B Priestly was born on 13th September 1894 near Bradford, England. His mother died the year he was born and his father was a teacher. After leaving school, age 16, he started to write. In 1910 he began work as a junior clerk at a wool firm. Priestly often found himself indulged into political conversations with his fathers friends. He joined the infantry in 1904 at age 20 but then left in 1919 after front line service in France. Priestly said he was ‘Lucky’ to have been enabled the opportunity to fight in the war, even after he was injured by mortar fire. After returning from the infantry Priestly studied to get a degree in modern history at Cambridge University, finishing this degree in 1921. Alongside ‘An Inspector Calls’, Priestly also wrote many other plays and novels such as ‘Dangerous Corner’ and ‘Angel Pavement’. An Inspector Calls was written in 1946, after the Second World War had ended. The play itself, a thriller, was set in 1912, a time when society was very different, from a hindsight. At this time there was a great dispute between communism and capitalism. This is one way in which Priestly shocks and entertains the audience because in the play the Inspector is seen to appear as communist and Birling is seen to appear as a capitalist. This is just one of the ways Priestly shocks and entertains the audience.

One of the dramatic devices that Priestly uses to shock and entertain the audience is the use of lighting. This is made most apparent when the inspector enters the room. It shows this because the light changes from being a ‘pinkish’ color to a very bright strong color. The ‘Pinkish’ light conveys a relaxed, loving mood, however it could also connect to danger from being a close shade to red. The bright lighted then change the mood as it makes the audience and the characters feel awkward or uneasy. It also may make them feel more alert to what is happening.

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Another one of the devices that Priestly uses to build tension is the use of the sound effect of the doorbell. This ‘Sharp Ring’ creates tension because it causes the audience to become curious and to speculate at to who it could be at the door. Another reason as to why the doorbell could create tension is the idea that the ‘Sharp Ring’ could be from a serious, impatient person, making the person at the door appear to be an important character, therefore keeping the audience on the edge of their seats

Priestly uses Birlings’ speeches as a ...

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