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In act one of 'An Inspector calls' how does J B Priestley use dramatic devices to convey his concerns and ideas

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In act one, how does Priestly use dramatic devices to convey his ideas to the audience, as well as interest and involve them in the play? Priestly uses dramatic devices in act one to manipulate the audience's ideas about the two different groups of people 'Socialists' and 'Capitalists'. The play itself could be considered a dramatic device itself, to convey a political message. The lighting of the scene is a very significant factor in conveying the ideas of Priestly. This is clearly mentioned in the stage direction 'The lighting should be pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder'. I think the use of the lighting shows the personality of the Inspector which is a tough character, and that he will not tolerate any nonsense. This proves that the mood of the family is happy and friendly at first, then as soon as the inspector arrives the lighting changes to 'brighter and harder light'. ...read more.


At this point there is suspense, with a question of 'Who could be at the door'. This is immediately followed by a moment of silence, which is highlighting the importance of this interruption. The technique of silence is effectively used by the inspector as soon as there is ' A pause with a touch of impatience'. During this period of silence we have time to suspect that Mr. Birling has done something wrong, and so the audience sense that the inspector will bring trouble with him, for the Birlings. When the inspector arrives Mr.Birling is quite friendly and tells the inspector to sit down. When the inspector then states that he is enquiring about Eva Smith, Mr. Birling starts to get quite restless. Priestly presents Mr.Birling as a fool using dramatic irony (Dramatic irony is when the audience know more information than the characters themselves). This is evident when Priestly confidently says that the Titanic is 'unsinkable and absolutely unsinkable' and that there isn't going to be World War and it will never happen. ...read more.


Eric is totally siding against his father, and the inspector is driving a wedge between the parents and the children. The inspector directly contradicts Mr.Birling, when Mr.Birling hints that the inspector should leave, but with all self-confidence the Inspector replies' I'm afraid not'. Here the audience sees that Mr.Birling is almost challenging the Inspector, but the fact that the Inspector is winning and is in control. Mr.Birling uses name dropping to warn the Inspector that he has authority and can hurt him. Unfortunately for Mr.Birling name dropping does not affect the Inspector; this informs us that the Inspector has more moral power than Mr.Birling. In this play we realize that one word from the Inspector has more effect than an entire speech from Mr.Birling Priestly is trying to get across to the audience that just because you have more money it does not make you a higher class than any one else, and we are all equal. Up to act one Priestly is proving it gradually, by revealing to the audience how each character of 'Capitalists' was involved in the death of Eva Smith ...read more.

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