AQA ENG LIT: An Inspector Calls ESSAY on Dramatic Devices

Here's an essay I did. It's good. lol. Check it out. Hope it helps, happy revising!

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Re-Re
  • Created on: 22-05-12 13:45
Preview of AQA ENG LIT: An Inspector Calls ESSAY on Dramatic Devices

First 681 words of the document:

Reianna Shakil 11FEnglish Literature13/10/11
How does Priestley use dramatic devices from the sound of a doorbell?
In 1945, J.B. Priestley wrote a very successful play straight after the Second World War,
called `An Inspector Calls'. It was shortly made into a theatrical play which was first produced
in London in 1946 at the New Theatre, later followed by a film and a television series. The
play is actually based in 1912, much earlier before both World War One and Two, as well and
the sinking of the Titanic in April of that year. The idea on which Priestley had in order to set
the play earlier than when these magnificent catastrophes occurred was one where he could
build on the effective dramatic technique of dramatic irony, which is used often during the
course of the play. The genre of which `An Inspector Calls' belongs to is Drama, although
some people might say Thriller. Priestley's main concerns at the time were of, hierarchy in
society, expectations, family values, being treated differently as a woman, life lessons, social
responsibility and moral conscience, which most importantly of all is exactly what the
Inspector wants to illustrate to the Birling's and gives them something to ponder on.
The playwright uses a variety of different dramatic devices to influence the audience. One of
these devices is the strong use of dramatic irony, which I explained earlier. Another strategy
is of the sudden change in lighting at the start of the play when the Inspector enters,
compared to the way it was previously. In the beginning, the stage directions state that the
lighting should be `pink and intimate', which give off a light, airy and comfortable sense of
atmosphere and goes on to state `until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter
and harder'. This signifies the change in atmosphere, the rise and build-up of tension as well
as a harsh and hostile environment. The stage lighting here is very important as it give the
audience a sense of sudden change of situation and ambience in a formal family-orientated
setting. An essential dramatic technique applied is the use of the doorbell as a sound effect.
This is shown through the stage direction which rudely interrupted one of Mr Birling's
speeches ­ `we hear the sharp ring of a front door bell. Birling stops to listen'. This is very
significant as a device because it forewarns the audience about what dread is to come ­ the
introduction of a tragedy of which the entire Birling family are involve in one way or another.
The front door bangs every time someone enters or leaves the house and the characters on
stage hear this loud and clear as well as the audience, so they are all wondering who is
arriving and who is leaving ­ and where it's going to lead them in the Eva Smith situation. The
effect that the introduction of a new major character has on the rest of the characters
suggests the moral conscience of everyone and the judgemental ideas that will be made by
the Inspector upon them and the shameful actions shared amongst each other as an
upper-class Edwardian family. Priestley has very cleverly crafted the exits of characters to
further the plot masterfully. In conjunction with the doorbell and the slam of the door,
suspense is built and morality is questioned and explored. Exits can signal a character
escaping from a situation, an explanation, someone or something, for example, when Sheila
leave the room because she feels overwhelmed and claustrophobic after knowing that she
might have indirectly killed Eva Smith by getting her killed. She wanted to
Leave the intense atmosphere, but at the same time, she also ran away from telling her
story. The Inspector also uses exits to draw information out of the other characters to gain

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Reianna Shakil 11FEnglish Literature13/10/11
more knowledge into the inquiry of the girl's death. Furthermore, much of Act One is
actually ironic in retrospect.
In conclusion, the playwright changes the general audience's opinion of the Birling's during
Act One, because more is revealed about their nature and the audience are given a
thoroughly broader insight into what kind of people the Birling's really are and what their
nature is like.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all resources »