J.B.Priestley’s Play, An Inspector Calls Essay
By what means, and how successfully is suspense created and sustained
in An Inspector Calls?
An Inspector Calls Essay
By what means, and how successfully is suspense created and sustained
in ‘An Inspector Calls?’
· Show analytical and interpretative skills
· The effects of dramatic devices and structure
· Layers of meaning in language, ideas and themes
· The social and historical setting/context
JB Priestley wrote ‘An Inspector Calls’ towards the end of World War
2. The play however, is set in 1912 at a wealthy, middle-class family
home. The play is about a family celebrating an engagement, when an
Inspector calls, and tells them of a young girl’s suicide. The play
is always set in the family’s dining room, but it has precise stage
directions, so each character must be sitting in a certain place.
Suspense is used right through the play, usually at its peak at the
end of an act.
I think JB Priestley was trying to get a message across to us that we
need to abolish the social class differences, and all be equal.
The play is very good because you are always trying to find out who
was responsible for the suicide, and you know that everybody fits in,
but you don’t know when or how.
As you find, or think you’ve found something out, the play takes a new
dramatic turn, which definitely makes suspense the key factor. What
makes the play even better is that the audience always knows a lot
more than the characters do, and you are always wondering: “why
haven’t they worked that out?”
Suspense is very successfully created and sustained in ‘An Inspector
When Act one begins, the mood is merry, and civilised in the dining
room, at The Birlings’ house. The family are happy, excited and in
good moods after Gerald and Sheila’ official engagement. Mr. Birling
is especially overjoyed at seeing his daughter become engaged to the
son of a very successful businessman. He hints that Gerald’s father
and himself could be joined in business and make a partnership between
Crofts Limited and Birling and Company. There is no suspense at all at
this point, but shortly before, there was a hint of it when Sheila and
Eric had a conflict, but the tension melted away when it was resolved.
Suddenly, just when everything is going perfectly, Sheila brings up
the fact that Gerald didn’t come near her all summer, and she
confronts him, and asks him why. He replies that he was busy, and
Sheila doesn’t seem to be believing him, until Mrs. Birling steps in
and reminds her that he works, and that she should respect that.
Tension is very successfully created and sustained here because you
think that Sheila and Gerald are going to have a blazing row, but then
Sheila goes with her mother, so again, it dies away.
The next large bout of tension arrives when the Inspector calls round.
You can tell at that point that Mr. Birling gets uneasy, and at times,
a little impatient. You wonder what he or any of the other...
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Essay on J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls
951 Words4 Pages
J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls"
"An Inspector Calls" is a politics based detective play script written by John Bonyton Priestley, or better know as J.B Priestley.
The play takes place in the wealthy Birtling's family dining room, a room of which has "good solid furniture of the period", "the general effect is substantial and heavily comfortable but not cosy and homelike." The family are celebrating their daughters engagement to Mr Gerald
Croft, an upper class man, as are the Birling's in the play. A visit from the Inspector Goole becomes a terrifying experience for the
Birlings, as they find out that they have all played a part in a young girls suicide. J.B Priestley wrote this play after world war II in
1945, and…show more content…
There are two types of people in "An Inspector Calls" which are the socialists and the capitalists.
The capitalists being the Birling family and Gerald Croft who are the upper class people, who do not believe in equality, where as the socialist, being Inspector Goole a middle/ lower class citizen believes in nothing but equality and fairness.
Mr Birling is the main capitalist in the play, he is a rich upper class man, he owns a factory in which he exploits lower class citizens who work for him, and pay them peanuts. This is typical capitalist behaviour. Mr Birling is said to be "portentous" by J.B Priestley.
Priestley uses Birling as maybe a role like the "baddy" in which we still see in films and theatre of today, such as Jafar in the Disney film Aladdin.
At the beginning of act one, Mr Birling believes "a man has to make his own way, has to look after himself and his family too", Mr Birling believes this throughout the whole play.
Mr Birling then begins a speech on community. "The way some of these old cranks talk, and write now, you'd think everyone has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up together like bees in a hive- and all the nonsense". You seem to get the idea from this speech, that if you were a lower class person running down his street from a rapist, and knocked on his door to get away, he would just turn