How Priestly Uses the Inspector to Create Tension and Suspense in An Inspector Calls
J.B Priestly wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945 just when the welfare
state began. J.B Priestly set his play in Edwardian Britain 1912;
however Edwardian Britain society was still very Victorian in its
attitude and structure. For example the rich, who were privileged,
were meant to help out the poor through charities, as there was no
welfare state. As well as the fact that social benefits did not exist
at that time, but they chose not to. It was classed as the Victorian
ways. Rich women did set up charities but they got to decide who they
money went too.
We can see how the social structure of the rich helping the poor out
of a sense of responsibility for the privileges they had does not work
in Priestley's play. Priestley's main character Eva is not helped by
the privileged Birlings. Priestly has hindsight and uses this to
create tension in the play. This is shown in the use of the titanic,
"â€¦unsinkable, absolutely unsinkableâ€¦" But in real life the boat did
Also Priestly wrote his story two years before the outbreak before
WW1. Due to the setting he makes the message clearer and shows the
division in equality.
His theme to the play is "think before you act" and "our actions to
others have consequences" and throughout the story we hear this. Three
main points in how priestly uses the inspector to create tension and
suspense are, how he interviews each character one by one, how he is
strict and rude towards them and, lastly how he seems to know
everything. Priestly also intended to instruct the audience about the
condition of man caught between the religious need for goodness and
the temptations of evil. All these issues are shown through the
characters. Eva holds fast to principles. She does not become a
prostitute at any stage in her life. She does want to marry Eric after
she has found out she is pregnant because she knows he is not in love
with her and that it would ruin his social status. Lastly she does not
accept money from Eric when she finds out he has been stealing it from
his father's office.
The first time when inspector Goole enters he creates suspense.
Firstly his name is a pun on ghoul, similar to ghost. As well as we
never learn the first name for him. This makes it even more
suspicious. Suspense is created by the fact that he breaks up the
family party and takes all the joy and excitement away. Somehow he
knows it all, what the truth is and what a lie is. His character is
constant throughout the play and he never changes. He is looked at as
God as he some how points the finger at their conscience "One Eva
smith has gone but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva
smiths and john smiths still left with us.
Priestly develops the...