Ow Does Priestley Show That Tension Is at the Heart of the Birling Family.

Topics: An Inspector Calls, Emotion, Feeling Pages: 2 (517 words) Published: November 5, 2012
How does Priestley show that tension is at the heart of the Birling family. ‘An inspector calls’ is a book overflowing with tension. Tension is an enormously powerful device that a numerous amount playwrights, including, ‘J.B Priestley’ uses to produce suspense and a sense of +dness between characters. Tension is also used to catch the attention of readers and makes characters be prominent and stand out due to their action and the way they speak. It is imperative as it illustrates the emotions and feelings of the characters. Tension was portrayed in various different ways in, ‘Act one’ of the inspector calls. Examples can be through stage directions, the structure and form of sentences, the usage of punctuation marks etc. Also there was tension between classes which caused conflicts and disagreements. All these will be explained in the following paragraphs. Arthur Birling, a prosperous manufacturer, was holding a family dinner party in either to celebrate his daughter’s (Sheila’s) engagement to a rich man’s son named Gerald. Into this cozy scene intrudes the harsh figure of a police inspector investigating the suicide of a young working-class woman. Under interrogation, it seems like Sheila, Mr. Birling, and Gerald all played a part in this young girl’s life. Tension in the household are portrayed immediately at the opening of the play. The household is being described as, “substantial and heavily comfortable by not cozy and homelike” which illustrates that although the Birling family attempted to decorate their residence to a standard that is equivalent to the expectancy of those times with their class, they did not succeed to create a atmosphere suitable for a “homelike” feel . The words “not cozy and homelike” portray a cold, unwelcoming and inhospitable atmosphere, which as you progress through the play, reflects the characters themselves. Thesaurus Another piece of stage direction that adds to the point of tension is the sentence describing the lighting...
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