In this essay, the purpose of the writing is to explain the dramatic effect used in the play and at the end evaluate how successful it was. It will mainly look at the Birling’s before the Inspector, then after the Inspector. It will not necessarily evaluate the use in each paragraph but give the reader a better understanding of it. When the curtain is pulled back and the play is about to commence, the common opening is a middle class family sitting round a dinner table looking delighted.
The lights are fairly dim, bright enough for one to see clearly but not bright. The furniture and the decoration of the house makes the audience feel as if the people at the table are not Royalty, but not poor. In productions such as the mid 80’s BBC dramatization, the man at the head of the table indicates he is the man of the house, Mr Birling. The others are his wife, Mrs Birling, his children Eric and Shelia and a man named Gerald Croft who at first sight would seem a little strange as this appears to be a family dinner.
There are jokes being told and the stranger Gerald produces a ring showing that this dinner is for an engagement between this fellow Gerald and Birling’s daughter Shelia. It shows that the family are all celebrating this occasion and are oblivious to anything bad happening. When looking at the characters, not much seems wrong, until you listen to way they respond to each other. For instance, Mr Birling is in theory from a lower class then his wife so he is always being ‘put into place’ by his wife.
This is shown when he deals with Edna, Birling, who would not have had ‘servants’ as a boy, is not used to having service beneath him so he does not know how to act properly unlike his wife, who is used to having a Butler or Maid etc. Eric being the young man of the house wants to prove himself as a ‘proper’ man but comes across as arrogant in his Fathers eyes for disagreeing with some of Birling’s opinions. Gerald and Shelia’s relationship however, differs from the two mentioned above.
At the beginning they are making jokes about each other in a playful manner but it is only later on do the gloves come off. They both are very different in the way they react to other members of the family, maybe because Gerald is not a member of the Birling family despite what Birling has said. Whereas Gerald will hold his tongue, Shelia will speak her mind towards any family member. Mr Birling is considered being the Captain of the Titanic. He believes his family is well crafted and well formed and unsinkable prior to what he said about the Titanic itself.