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An Inspector Calls - Structure

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Louisa Jehan

on 19 September 2012

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Transcript of An Inspector Calls - Structure

How does Priestly use the structure of the play to develop the idea of responsibility?
How does he use symbolism to develop the idea of responsibility? Is it the order of responsibility? -Mr. Birling was the least responsible and Eric was the most
Is it to build tension? -The interviews got more and more intense as they went along.
Is it the order in which things happened to Eva Smith? -First she was kicked out of her job with Mr. Birling... that's why the Inspector questioned Mr. Birling first. Why did the Inspector interview the family in the order he did? no-one had committed a real crime except for Eric, so why was an Inspector used? Why was the
Inspector used?
Maybe near the end the Inspector is running out of time for he is only here for a limited amount of time as ghosts are.
Or maybe he needs to get his point across before the real Inspector comes to tell them about the real Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton
He may also be doing this to try and get them to accept the responsibility like they should be doing and he is getting impatient with their - every man for themselves - attitude Why does the Inspector talk the same until the end when he becomes more cutting, ironic and impatient? The atmosphere was happy and relaxed which is why when the Inspector came it made a larger impact on them.
although it was a happy mood overall you could tell things weren't perfect between the family - Mr. Birling was desperate to impress Gerald and Sheila kept teasing Gerald about where he had been one summer Why was there a dinner party
right before the Inspector comes? the inspector has more authority than an average person so they will listen to the inspector and maybe feel under pressure talking to him
the inspector may have been used to make the family feel like they did a crime when Eric was the only one who did
maybe the Ghoul came as an Inspector so that the family wouldn't be as suspicious as to where he got some of the information The Inspectors name is "Goole” a homophone for Ghoul. Which I think is more than just a coincidence. A Ghoul is a type of ghost who avenges the dead. Which he seems to be doing for all the "millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths” So the Inspector is symbolizing a Ghoul. Essay style answer We also see throughout the play the Inspector talks in the same calm way until the very end where he starts to seem annoyed and agitated making him speak more ironically and impatiently. The Inspectors name is "Goole” a homophone for Ghoul. A Ghoul is a type of ghost who avenges the dead. Which he seems to be doing for all the "millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths” In the beginning he says things will happen 'All in good time' but by the end he keeps saying that he 'want[s] to get on' He seems to be symbolizing a ghost... who are only here for a limited amount of time, maybe this is why Inspector Goole is very tight on time. He may also be doing this to try and get them to accept the responsibility like they should be doing and he is getting impatient with their - every man for themselves - attitude. he wants them to take responsibility which is why he tells the family 'to divide the resonsibility between' them. He may need to get his point across before the real 'police inspector [comes] ... to ask some questions'. Priestly uses structure and symbolism in the play to develop the idea of responsibility. The structure includes the order in which the family were questioned. It may be the order of responsibility, Sheila was one of the first to be questioned and was the least responsible in the eyes of the Inspector. It may have also been to build tension, the interviews got more and more intense as they went along. It got to the point where the inspector, who throughout the play stayed calm, started getting impatient and agitated with the immature attitudes the older generation had towards responsibility which contributed to the intensity of the play. It may have been the order in which things happened to Eva Smith -first she was kicked out of her job with Mr. Birling, that's why the Inspector questioned Mr. Birling first. Thinking about the structure we may also question why Priestley thought the family should be celebrating before the Inspector pays them a visit. In the beginning the stage directions tell us that 'the lighting should be pink and intimate' this makes us think of an expression - looking through rose tinted glass - which means they look at the world as a good thing and being igronant to all the wrong things going on. Roses are pink... the colour of the lighting, this makes me feel like as if the family do look at the world - through rose tinted glass - they are happy and will be ignorant to all the bad things happening in the world and even in the family. They know things aren't perfect between them but still they try to make it seem perfect. Mr. Birling is constantly trying to impress Gerald and is constantly trying too hard to make him feel comfortable. Birling tells Gerald that he is 'the son-in-law [he] always wanted' and sheila is teasing him about 'last summer, when [Gerald] never came near [her]' the inspector arrives right after Mr. Birling tells Gerald about his chances of a knighthood and how 'a man has to look after himself and his own' So the perfection contrasting with the Inspectors arrival may have been to cause more of a shock to the family. When the Inspector arrives the lighting changes and becomes 'brighter and harder' Like as if trying to bring to light the wrong doings of the family. First it was completely happy and relaxed and suddenly it became intense. This made a large impact on them because it was so unexpected. We may also wonder why the Inspector was used... Why didn't Priestley make it that an ordinary man came to talk to them about Eva Smiths death, after all none of them committed any real crimes that they can be charged for... apart from Eric who stole some money. Perhaps Priestley thought that if an ordinary person had all this information the Inspector had they would question as to how he had found out that information or how they know about all of their different stories. The family think they are so powerful and can do whatever they want without being questioned. But the inspector is the only one who can question them and have more authority over them. His authority puts the family under pressure and makes them answer all of his questions. Towards the end Mrs Birling becomes very stubborn in regards to accepting responsibility so he starts 'cutting in, with authority' The Inspector will also make the family feel like as if they did a crime which is something they desperately try to avoid because it will decrease the chance of Mr. Birling getting a Knighthood.
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