The play inspector calls is structured in three plays. It is known as “a well made” play. The events take place in “real” time one evening. The audience and the characters learn the same events at the same time In the play the family is over for a celebration for Gerald and Shelia ‘s (daughter of Mr. Birling) engagement, however as they are enjoying themselves they hear a knock at the door there is an inspector who is going to ask questions to the family. The people at the house are Mr. Arthur Birling and Ms Sybil Birling, which are parents to Eric and Shelia.
Shelia is engaged with Gerald Croft. The play was written in 1945 but set in 1912 this means the audience already have an awareness of the events that took place-. For example, when Mr. Birling talks about the war and the titanic sinking. The play was written by J. B. Priestley. Priestley was concerned with the way human beings had been shown to behave during WW1 and WW2, that we didn’t learn our lessons and that with the creation of the welfare state there was the chance for us to create a better society, one in which all people took responsibility for each other.
At the beginning of the play, Priestley sets out an extensive series of stage directions. He applies them effectively as a dramatic device, in that he uses them to show how the Birling family is cold, distant people and how capitalism has ruined them as a family. He illustrates how the family is very well of, examples are” dessert plates” and “champagne glasses” as well as other expensive items. However, there is also a sense of formality and distance between the family members as he writes that “men are in tails and white ties”.
He also emphasizes the distance between Mr. and Mrs. Birling by situating them at opposite ends of the table. Dramatic irony is also used in many ways. It is used to promote the Inspector yet mock Mr. Birling. In Mr. Birling’s speech at the beginning of the play, he proudly states that “as a hard-headed businessman” he thinks that “there isn’t a chance of war” and that the Titanic is “absolutely unsinkable”. With the play being published after two world wars and the sinking of the Titanic, Priestley makes the audience think that Birling is a fool.
Whereas the Inspector, who states in his final speech that “they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish” indicating that there will be a war, is important by the use of dramatic irony. This makes the audience believe the socialist views of the Inspector instead of the ‘foolish’ views of Mr. Birling. Throughout the play, tension is continuously building up both between the Inspector and the Birlings as well as within the Birling family. An example of this is when Sheila asks about where Gerald was “last summer” and Gerald tries to cover it up.
This shows how the underlying secrets within the family create lots of tension The inspector’s final speech has a lot of persuasive language. In the last speech he says, “We are members of one body. ” We are responsible for each other”. The technique is that he is trying to affect the audience by making them feel that they should reflect on the way they respect one another. “If men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish”. This is telling to put through that if the changes were not met then it would lead to more death.
This last speech is what the writer JB Priestly is trying to put through his idea which was people should be making a change or it will end up with another war were millions will die. Priestly wants many people to be taught their lessons. The response of the characters after the inspector left was awaked for each character. Many of them were quite surprised that the inspector knew everything with the characters and their relationship with the girl who committed suicide. On page 65 Sheila “Eric absolutely right… You just beginning to pretend all over again.
” This shows that she learnt that it’s was wrong for what she done to the girl. She also says on page 66 “Well he inspected us all right and don’t lets start dodging and pretending now. ” This show that once again Sheila has over come her problem and feels that they should think about what they have caused. . Page 60 Mrs. Birlings “I told him quite plainly that I had done no more that more duty. ” this shows Mrs. Birling as a person who believes she had nothing to do with the problem and also believes there’s nothing to learn here. Eric says “whoever that chap was, the fact remains that I did what I did…
its still the same rotten story whether its been told to a Police inspector or to somebody else”. This shows us that Eric has been taught his lesson and has remained cool, calm and collected. Mr. Birling “The fact is you allowed yourselves to be bluffed” This shows that the character Mr. Birling sounds as though it was not much of a deal weather she died or not. If you notice that he uses the word “you”, as though he knew all along. The very end. They think they have just confirmed that it was a hoax and they have got away with it when the phone rings: Birling: that was the police.
A girl has just died on her way to the infirmary after swallowing some disinfectant. And the police inspector is on his way here, to ask you some questions. The characters are confused and are asking the question of who was the other “inspector”? At the end of the play it ends with the characters thinking that it was all a joke and the got away with all their bad behavior but when the phone rings the play ends It’s like a circle because it was going to happen all again with the questioning and it wasn’t a joke, this might of got the audience surprised just like if it was the characters.
The effects on the audience is that it would put them to think of what’s happened and make them shocked, because they wouldn’t have realized that it was not a joke. The Ending of the play end with a cliffhanger, it makes the audience want to watch more and find out what happens next. It also keeps them thinking about the play and its meaning. In the play there is more then one cliff-hanger. Cliff-hangers make the audience want to know more of what is going to happen after and it also keeps the audience interested.
Another example of the use of a cliff-hanger is at the end of Act One when Gerald admits to Sheila that he had an affair with Eva Smith. The Inspector then enters and simply says “Well? ” this hooks the audience, as they want to find out what happens next in the play, keeping them on the edge of their seats. Priestley wrote the play with the intention that the audience should leave the theatre thinking about their own actions as well as about what they have just seen.
I think that Priestly has achieved because he has made many people think of being taught lessons and how some people may react with problems. This is essentially a mystery with a strong social message and has no bad thing for that. An Inspector Calls is a clear taste of the climate of social responsibility and confidence reflection of the period at the end of WW2, when this thriller was written The ending leaves the audience on a cliff-hanger. In Act 3 the Birlings believed themselves to be off the hook when it is discovered that the Inspector wasn’t real and that no girl had died in the infirmary.
This releases some of the tension – but the final telephone call, announcing that a real inspector is on his way to ask questions about the suicide of a young girl, suddenly restores the tension very dramatically. It is an unexpected final twist. ?? ?? ?? ?? Modern drama Coursework Sheelan Bayezidi 10R Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section.