Past mistakes

Priestley uses one room for the play and uses lighting when the inspector arrives. Daldry uses a different idea because he has a different set he uses many expressionistic devices. Priestly also leaves the audience startled when the inspector makes his closing speech in Act 2 Priestley uses a lot of dramatic dialogue to build up the tension between all the characters. When Mr and Mrs Birling think that it is alright not to feel guilty about Eva Smiths death Sheila interrupts and says ‘…. Your just beginning to pretend all over again’.

When Mrs Birling realises that Eric is the father Priestley uses Stichomythia to make his aim effective leaving the audience anxious and in suspense about what is going to happen next. He has used this idea from Greek drama when each of the characters interrupt each other. The audience anticipate what the family are trying to deny, that Eric is the father of Eva Smiths baby. Priestley puts his ideas across through courtroom thriller a type of genre so that he can keep the audience in suspense. He shows the age gap between the characters.

When Sheila says ‘these girls aren’t cheap labour they’re people’. Her views change because the inspector influences her whereas Mr and Mrs Birling stay the same. The inspector questions the characters like he knows everything already but the characters don’t realise it at the time. The inspector tells them about their mistakes and how they can learn from them. The characters aren’t bothered what happened in society especially Mr and Mrs Birling they are more bothered about what society would think of them.

Priestley manages to reach out his aims through the characters personalities and language. Sheila uses more slang compared to Mrs Birling; she uses words like ‘squiffy’ Sheila’s language reflects her age. Priestley manages to make us feel sympathetic towards Eva Smiths terrible death. Because she was not shown in the play we can’t judge whether she was a nice person and a person to sympathetic towards. We only have the proof of the lines that the characters have said about her. Mr Birling doesn’t show any sympathy for Eva Smith.

Even though he doesn’t actually say that she deserved everything that came to her it is confirmed through his personality and the tone of his voice e. g. ‘portentous’ and ‘provincial’. J. B Priestley succeeds in his main aim because ‘An Inspector Calls isn’t any old play that you can read because it makes people today think of their responsibilities and morals and what our society is like today compared to the society in 1912 and it makes us think how we can make our society a better place if we are prepared to learn from past mistakes.

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