Explain How Does Priestley Create Tension In An Inspector Calls

1066 Words5 Pages
How does Priestley create tension in this extract? In “An Inspector Calls”, during the extract, Priestley uses tension to create a dramatic scene. Tension is an important part of the play as in many situations, such as when the audience finds out about Eva Smith’s death, it leads to feelings like guilt and shameful confessions, among the characters. At the start of the extract, Priestley creates dramatic tension when Mrs Birling says, “ Certainly. And he ought to be dealt with very severely-.” Certainly shows that Mr Birling believes the man who was responsible for impregnating Eva Smith and stealing money for her was entirely at fault and should receive all the punishments associated with her death. However, Mrs Birling is interrupted…show more content…
It all starts with the Inspector: “Inspector holds up a hand… Eric enters, looking extremely pale and distressed.” Firstly, the fact that all the Inspector needs to do to retake control and silence those around him is to hold “up a hand”, symbolising his authority and power over the Birling family. Even though the prime suspect of the crime has just entered the room, he still maintains a calm attitude and confidence. Therefore, the audience takes note of the Inspector’s power to handle the tension. On the other hand, the audience might feel intimidated the Inspector’s command because he is such a powerful individual. After this, Eric enters, his face being “extremely pale.” To be pale is to lose the colour and contrast of one’s face, meaning that Eric was white. Ghosts are also claimed to be white fictionally. They stem from apparitions of dead people, suggesting the Eric could be in a fatal situation. As they are shadowy presences, many people have a fear or phobia towards them, implying that Eric could be making his family greatly afraid. Alternatively, ghosts are normally infamous for carrying spooky, vital messages to people, in this case, Priestley portraying Eric as one could be himself passing messages to the audience through the play. This could be that the lower class can fight the upper class, as the Inspector is in defense of Eva Smith, and he’s successful
Get Access