“We Don't Live Alone. We Are Members of One Body. We Are Responsible for Each Other.” Explore the Ways in Which Priestley Conveys This Message to the Audience.

Topics: An Inspector Calls, J. B. Priestley, Audience theory Pages: 4 (1594 words) Published: August 31, 2010
They are the words of Inspector Goole; they are the views of John Boynton Priestley; the message of the play. In An Inspector Calls, Priestley conveys this to his audience; Inspector Goole represents Priestley’s views and his morals. Priestley wrote An Inspector Calls to further enhance this message; he portrays these views through the character of the Inspector in the play itself. The play is classed as a murder mystery/psychological thriller, however it is in fact a play of morality and [the title quote] is the underlying message in which we are to learn from. We are all equal, regardless of class; we are responsible for each other; we should try to help others. I think that Priestley was trying to show his audience that every action can affect others; the smallest, meaningless things that we do can lead to disasters. An Inspector calls promotes the idea of socialism, which is strongly contrasted with the idea of capitalism- they are the Inspector and Mr. Birling’s beliefs respectively.

In an Inspector Calls, Priestley uses a range of dramatic devices to keep his audience on-edge. A very effective dramatic device Priestley uses is cliffhangers. For example at the end of the play when Mr. Birling answers the phone and is told that the Inspector is in fact “a hoax”. Ending the play on a cliffhanger leaves the audience wanting to find out what happens next and keeps them thinking about the play and it's moral meaning after they have seen/read it. Another example of the use of a cliffhanger is at the end of Act 1 when Gerald admits to Sheila that he had had an affair with Eva Smith. The Inspector then enters and simply says "Well?” This simplicity is a very successful way of hooking the audience and making them want to know what happens next. Act 2 then begins in the same way as Act 1 ended; Priestley decided not to change anything in order to achieve a sense of continuity, which is a dramatic device intended to keep the audience concentrated on a particular...
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