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J.B Priestly's An Inspector Calls - Essay Example

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J.B.Priestly was a British journalist, novelist, playwright, and essayist. Priestly's output was vast and varied - he wrote over one hundred novels, plays, and essays, and is best known as the author of the novel "THE GOOD COMPANIONS" (1929). A man of versatility, he was a patriot, cosmopolitan Yorkshire man, professional amateur, cultured Philistine, reactionary radical, and a common-sense spokesman for the ordinary man-in-the-street…
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J.B Priestlys An Inspector Calls
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J.B Priestly's An Inspector Calls

Download file to see previous pages... Priestly uses a number of dramatic devices to express these ideas, among others, to the audience, whilst still keeping them involved and interested in the plot.
This play is very tightly structured as Priestly wanted to achieve a very quick and smooth running play where all the parts seemed to fit into one another. Therefore all the action takes place in the dining room and even when there is a break between acts the start of the next act takes us to the same point in time at which we had left the action. The play is structured as a series of episodes in which the focus is mainly on one particular character. In this way a picture is gradually built up of all the main characters in the play.
The Play, 'An Inspector Calls' is all about the mystery surrounding the suicidal death of Eva Smith, a worker, and the moral values of a superior social class family, The Birlings. Each member of the Birling family has had a connection to the dead girl. No one has directly caused her death, nor even wished her dead, yet everyone present has contributed in some way to her demise. Patriarch Arthur Birling started it all when he fired the girl from his factory, but all the other family members contributed in their own ways to Eva's downfall. Birling's wife Sybil, future son-in-law Gerald Croft, son Eric and daughter Sheila: All contributed, independently of one another and without a second thought or remorse to Eva's demise.

How is Tension created in the Play:
During Act one, the playwright uses a lot of dramatic devices to change our opinions of the Birlings. We start off feeling happy for the Birlings as Shelia and Gerald are getting married. It is all quite relaxed but with the use of dramatic irony we start to think that actually the Birlings are quite foolish, stuck up and self obsessed, especially the character of Mr.Birling. The methods that Priestly uses to interest and involve the audience are the use of dramatic irony, tension and building up the story in chronological order, meaning he builds up the story in order, one person after another, in order of the times people that met Eva Smith which always keeps the audience on their toes. The build up of tension keeps the audience guessing, wondering who is involved in the death and who is really to blame. The use of dramatic irony is a key point to the play and without it Priestly wouldn't be able to get his point across.

Priestly used the Lighting effects to cast a symbolic and expressive feel of the characters. This is reflected when the lights focus .Pink and intimate, until the inspector arrives. The pink and intimate setting/lighting show the relaxation the characters are feeling. Everyone is happy and there is romance in the air for Shelia and Gerald. But when the inspector arrives, the lighting changes from pink to hard and bright. This type of lighting wakes up the audience and shows something is about to happen. It is almost like an interrogation, being under the bright spotlight, it makes the audience ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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