Saturday, October 12, 2019

J.B.Priestley’s play, An Inspector Calls :: English Literature

AN INPSECTOR CALLS The six long years of anguish and fear had ended and the people of Britain were just recovering from the effects of World War Two. J.B Priestly a writer, who at the time was fifty one, was deeply involved with the war being a member of the infantry, and only just escaped death on a number of occasions. After his experiences throughout the horrific war, Priestly picked back up on his career which started before all of the battling and turned his attentions to writing plays. His first play after the war was known to be ‘An Inspector Calls’, which was eventually published in the same year. The story involves that of different opinions and actions, and of regrets. The rich and celebrated Birling family are spending a happy evening together celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft – a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl. He questions each one of the family members and future family members in turn about the suicide of Eva Smith, and as the play unravels it becomes evident that each member of the family has been intertwined with her life. J.B Priestly uses his play ‘An Inspector Calls’ as a way of getting across his socio-political views. He believed that people of different classes were being treated completely oppositely and demanded that something should be done. One of the key ways he emphasises points thorough the whole play is by the dramatic techniques he uses. In the course of An Inspector Calls the Birling family and Gerald Croft change from a state of great self-satisfaction to a state of extreme self-doubt. The play is in 'real time' - in other words, the story lasts exactly as long as the play is on the stage. So, what happens in a comparatively short time to create such a dramatic contrast? How is the drama maintained and the audience involved? Probably the main and most obvious dramatic technique that J.B Priestly uses is through the characters. The characters act as J.B Priestley’s thoughts and actions, and his emotions are unveiled throughout the play via them. As one of the most important and main characters in the play, Mr Birling is used in many ways as a dramatic device. The fact he cares only about himself and his family and not about anyone else in the world. We know this to be true, as just before the inspector arrives

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