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J.B Priestley`s "An Inspector Calls". Essay

2524 words - 10 pages

what is the dramatic importance of the inspector?introdutionWritten in 1945 J.B Priestley`s "An inspector calls" is set almost four decades previous in 1912 at the heart of the industrial revolution. As with "Time and the Calyways", "dangerous corner" and several other of his plays Priestly introduces the recurring theme of the effect of an individuals actions over others.devices emphasising hi importanceThe play at first gives the impression of a detective thriller and later reveals itself as a morality tale, to which the inspector plays a vital role by introducing questions of accountability and moral ethics to each of the five characters.All three of the plays acts take place in the Birling`s dinning room, where the family are gathered by Arthur Birling, a wealthy manufacturer in celebration of his daughter Sheila's engagement to her fiancée Gerald Croft. Also in attendance are Edna (the maid) Sybil Birling (the mother) and Eric Birling (the son). The comfortable scene is interrupted by the arrival of the inspector, a cold and abrupt man in his late fifties who is investigating the suicide of a working class woman named Eva smith. He is harsh and intolerant in his interrogation and sequentially puts pressure on each of the characters until individually they reveal their involvement in the young woman's death.The inspector is the central character in the play and as such is the most influential. His entry into the play immediately disrupts the casual plot and after he leaves the repercussions of his actions are significantly felt. His character conducts and controls the play throughout, and due to several dramatic aspects employed by Priestly duration in the play is made the most important and memorable.The first method employed by Priestly happens at the start of the play.Before the inspector arrives the atmosphere is seemingly pleasant and joyful, the Birlings have a lot to be pleased with, for one Shelia's engagement to Gerald is a particularly happy match as the crofts and Birlings are long time business rivals. Arthur Birling is pleased with the prospect of a knight hood (which he mentions often) and the family being wealthy appear to be relatively carefree. Overall the self-satisfied feeling exerted by the Birlings can be seen in the way they act and speak. Examples being Arthur Birlings pompous self-assured beliefs when prophesising about the future and later Shelia's childlike temper in Millings clothes shop.However despite attempts to build a relaxed and warm atmosphere there is a definite undercurrent of tension between the characters for several well directed reasons.Early in the play we learn that Gerald's parents were unable to attend the dinner party which is perhaps insulting to the Birlings as Arthur has gone to a lot of trouble to make the evening enjoyable. While mentioning it Arthur "ums" and "errs" clearly showing his unease with the subject.Shelia is preoccupied with her worries about the previous summer where Gerald...

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