How the body works

Topics: An Inspector Calls, Audience theory, Drama, Performance, Audience, Theatre / Pages: 2 (731 words) / Published: May 5th, 2014
Harvey Perry
How important is the character of Eric in the play?
In the play of An Inspector Calls, Eric’s character is very important. His sympathy and emotions are greater than any of the other characters but Sheila. Eric and Sheila did still contribute to Eva’s death but they do have the “younger generation” of thinking.
At the start of the play, during Arthur Birling’s big speech about the future, Eric buts in with, ‘but what about war?’. Eric tries to bring attention back to the ‘war’ of WW2, before the play was written, so it would be on the audiences minds creating a tense atmosphere. Eric’s question undermines Arthurs speech and how he seems to thin he knows everything about everything. During the speech, Arthur says ‘Nobody wants war’ which will show everybody in the audience how greatly wrong he is to the audience.
After the Inspector arrives, and starts to interrogate Arthur, Eric interrupts again with ‘Why shouldn’t they try for higher wages?’. Eric has again brought along the point which a lot of the audience would be been thinking. At the same time, Eric has given these workers, and Eva, a voice to be heard. It also isolates Eric a little from the rest of his family as he cares more about the ‘wages’ that these lower class people get than the money of the business, which Arthur doesn’t like at all. The audience would start to see a clear divide between the family starting with Eric and Arthur, and later Sheila and Sybil. Questions are used a lot around Eric’s character, which could show very clearly that he wants to know why things are happening or even that why certain things aren’t happening, relating closely to society at the time.
I feel Priestly wanted to include the audience in the play in the form of a character, Eric, giving the audience a voice and a certain viewpoint on how to observe and take in the events that unfold throughout the story. The audience would feel greater emotion and sympathy for the characters that the audience

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