J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as an Effective Piece of Theatre

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J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as an Effective Piece of Theatre

J.B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' is a clever play that attacks

the social problems of his time; it contains all the essential parts

to make an excellently devised play, this is because of the

well-formulated use of dramatic irony. It is captivating, and holds

the attention of the audience; it does this by reaching climaxes and

then closing the act before the climax is dropped, this embraces the

audience in a sense of anxiety; which makes them want to watch more.

The style of the play seems at first glance to be that of a

straightforward, detective thriller; but as the plot is revealed there

is hidden truth about the characters.

The Inspector is a channel for Priestley's views. He is meant to be

our conscience. He speaks with determination and truth; without

embarrassment or of thought of what people think of him, 'Eric Could I

have a drink? Birling (explosively) No! Inspector (firmly) Yes. He

needs a drink.' Even though it is Mr. Birling's household; he does not

intimidate the Inspector. This tells us that the Inspector is

psychologically stronger than Mr. Birling who would have retracted his

statement immediately and become self-conscious of his actions. The

audience would be surprised with the Inspector's remarks and they

would lose some respect of Mr. Birling; because if he were in control

he would make the Inspector take his announcement back; but we gain

more respect for the Inspector who showed little trepidation against

Mr. Birling.

The Inspector uses his power to undermine his interrogates. We notice

this by his impulsive stage directions, 'Ins...

... middle of paper ...

...sciously thinking that he is going to become involved, because

it is pure logic that he should be the next one questioned.

Eric is the last person who was involved with Eva. At the beginning of

the play Eric doesn't say anything compared to the other characters.

We are not informed of the departure of Eric; Priestley has

deliberately done this to give a sense of suspicion, this keeps the

audience guessing where he is, this would create an atmosphere of


Even though 'An Inspector Calls' is a very well made play Priestley

tries to emphasise the importance of the care of others. Priestley was

a socialist in his time, unlike most of the people around; they were

only interested in exploiting people, like Mr. Birling. Priestley

believed that everyone should share their wealth or at least help

those in need.

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