Dramatic Devices in A J.B.Priestley’s play, An Inspector Calls

Dramatic Devices in A J.B.Priestley’s play, An Inspector Calls

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Dramatic Devices in An Inspector Calls


This book “The Inspector calls” is a gripping drama written by J.B
Priesly, it deals with the many problems in the world from famine, how
minorities were treated and the underclass people. It also shows
Priesly’s view on the homeless and the poor. He served in the first
world war and believed that the world should of learned from it’s
mistakes but as it turns out it did not and that angered him. So after
the Second World War he wrote the book “Inspector calls”. This book
uses the device of dramatic irany to portray his characters as not so
clever and somewhat fools. It also has a lot of twist’s and turns and
cliff hangers.

The reason this book is successful good on stage is that Priesly has a
good use of mystery and suspense in the book. Priesly uses the
convention of a detective genre very well and also uses the whodunit
element. All the family members in there own way are responsible for
the death of Eva Smith. For example Sheila got her fired from the only
good job that she could keep just because the hat looked better on her
and she thought that she was laughing at her. There was also Mr
Birling who fired her because she was one of the ringleaders that
started a strike for higher wages. Eric used her for just a good time,
as did Gerald. Eric however got her pregnant and offered her money but
she refused. When Eva Smith whent to the charity that Mrs Birlin
worked at Eva Smith used the name Mrs Birlin which greatly angered the
real Mrs Birlin who used her influence to not give money to Eva Smith.
The play also uses dramatic irany well. For example when Mrs Birlin
said “The father should be responsible for the baby” or when Mr Birlin
says “The Titanic….. absolutely unsinkable”. Priesly uses dramatic
irany to make the readers or the audience laugh and portray the
characters as dim witted.

Some more of the devices that made the play successful on stage are
the cliff hangers at the end of the scenes or the acts are successful
and entertaining. Some of the better cliff hangers that seemed good
are when at the end of the scene the Inspector is telling everyone
that they indeed had some part to play in the death of Eva Smith. The
reason it’s so effective is that it’s a clever cliff hanger that seems
to keep people hooked on what the family members have to do with the

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murder. Some of the more effective and exciting twist’s in the book is
when Mr Birlin makes a phone call to the hospital to find that no girl
had committed suicide, the other one is when the family gets a phone
call from the police station saying that a girl named Eva Smith has
just committed suicide and that an inspector will be round
momentarily. It’s at that point you fully realise that the Inspector
was a fake and start to wonder who or what he really was.

Some of the devices that are used in the play would make it successful
on stage, for example the use of innovative and unusual devices such
as the time zone. The time zone device is used when the Inspector
mentions that Eva Smith had just committed suicide but after the
interrogation and when the Inspector left he phoned up the hospital to
see if a girl had commited suicide but as it turns out no girl had
done. But about ten minute’s later they get a phone call saying that a
girl named Eva Smith has just committed suicide and that and Inspector
will be round momentarily to question them. There is a strong message
in the book which mean’s that were are all responsible for each
other’s action’s

The Inspector say’s this to tell the characters that if effect someone
in anyway it will come back to haunt you.

This book has an overall good use of devices such as the time zones,
cliff hangers to keep you reading; twist’s that keep you wondering of
what is going to happen next and has a strong message or theme that
teaches you not to hurt somebody and to not abuse people. There is
also the use of dramatic irany that makes the play more humorous and
enjoyable to read.
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