J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

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J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls An Inspector Calls was written by JB Priestley and is set in 1912 but it was written in 1945. The author uses historic knowledge to his advantage. At the beginning of the play, Birling gives a speech which is extremely ironic 'I say there isn't a chance of war. . . the Titanic- she sails next week- New York in five days- and every luxury- and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable' The subsequent outcomes relating to these issues are the complete opposite. World War one is about to erupt and the Second World War was close to follow. Birling stresses that the boat is unsinkable but the audience are aware that this is untrue. This shows the audience, right from the beginning, that Birling is a very ironic character and that he thinks himself a powerful figure in his family. This scene is very important because it is where the characters find out that Inspector Goole is a fake. Their reaction to this information what they have really learnt through this incident and whether the characters have developed. Mr and Mrs Birling seem relieved and overjoyed when they find out the truth and appear happy that their reputations are no longer at stake. Sheila and her brother Eric feel remorse for what they did to the girl and are disgusted in their parents for dismissing the situation so quickly. Gerald does not share his opinion as much as the other characters but he agrees with Birling several times. You can see a distinct generational difference between the characters and this tension remains throughout the scene. I am going to start directing at the point where the characters are all sitting around t... ... middle of paper ... ...g although it is clear to the audience that they are. Gerald is in the middle of the family because while he is pleased that the Inspector was a fraud, he never says that what he did was right but also never admits to doing any wrong. I think the message that Priestly was trying to put across is that our actions affect other people as well as ourselves and that with power comes responsibility which is something that all of the characters forgot. He also wanted the audience to be aware of the definite social hierarchy. I would show this by the Inspector wearing cheap and untidy clothes, when compared to the Birlings'. As director, I would make sure there was a great sense of irony but not let it get lost in the audience. I would show an obvious generation gap and emphasise the grouping, to bring out the tension.
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