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An Inspector Calls: Act 2 and 3

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Ashley Mercer

on 16 October 2015

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Transcript of An Inspector Calls: Act 2 and 3

An Inspector Calls: Act 2 and 3
It wasn't me!
Listen to each family members speech.

Then use whiteboards to write down the name of the family member that YOU think is RESPONSIBLE for the murder of Eva/Daisy.

The Inspector's Speech
Gerald vs. Eric
"An Inspector Calls," Act 2: Atmosphere and Tension
L.O. to define and analyse.

Atmosphere – a main emotional tone or attitude in a specific time and place e.g. scary; awkward; funny; suspicious.

Tension – the build up of suspense and foreboding e.g. that something bad is going to happen.

Analysing Mrs Birling
Based on the following character description, what themes does the character of Mrs Birling encapsulate?
"An Inspector Calls," Act 3:
Applying Atmosphere and Tension
Act 2 Activity
As a pair, choose an extract from Act 2 in which you think there is a strong sense of atmosphere and tension.
In your books, note down any quotes that suggest that atmosphere and tension. (Include the character name so you remember who is speaking when you come to revise!)
Make brief notes (bullet points if you wish or just one word answers) about how/why Priestley has created atmosphere and tension in these quotes. (you do not need to write a PETAL paragraph).

Be prepared to feedback some of your ideas to the class.
"An Inspector Calls," Act 2:
The Welfare State
L.O. to apply historical context

‘There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.’
Margaret Thatcher, (British Prime Minister, 1987)

‘I could not be entirely serious about anything, except the well being of our society itself.’
J.B. Priestley (1962)

L.O. To explore the responsibility of the characters and analyse what this tells us about them.
Will be able to recognize why characters are responsible for Eva’s death.
Will begin to recognize whether characters feel or do not feel responsibility and why.
Will being to analyze what their attitudes tell us about them as characters.

Whodunnit? Who do you think is more to blame?
Can you defend yourself?
You will all be given a character.

For your character you must write a short speech, in character, defending yourself against the allegations that you were involved in the death of Eva Smith.

You will then go head to head with the rest of your Family in a ‘Jeremy Kyle’ style improvisation.

The class will decide your fate!

How you knew Eva/Daisy.
When you last saw Eva/Daisy.
What happened between you.
How things were left between you (good or bad?).

It wasn’t me! I only wanted to help Daisy…Eva…whatever she called herself. When we first met at the Palace Bar she was lost, helpless and alone. If I hadn’t stepped in and helped her, then she might have ended up working the streets. Yes, I know she’s dead. But that’s not my fault. I looked after her. I gave her a place to stay; a bed to sleep in; money; clothes; food. And I gave her my affection. I cared about her; I may not have loved her but I still wanted her to be happy and healthy. Us finishing was…well…bound to happen. A girl in her class, no matter how wonderful, could never be accepted by my friends or family. Especially my family. What else was I supposed to do? And anyway, I haven’t seen or heard from her in months. Months! How can I possibly be responsible for her death?

In 1912 there was no welfare state as we know it. Those suffering poverty had to work hard for low wages or depend on charity to survive. Charity was normally given to the ‘deserving poor’ as decided upon by people like Mrs Birling.

Poverty was seen as necessary for a society to thrive.

Mrs Birling is in a position to help the poor she
requires that they show that they are deserving of help.
Unfeeling / unsympathetic
Lack of conscience
Keen awareness of the rules of polite society
Out of touch and in denial
Narrow sense of morality
Not above telling lies

Identify at least 3.
L.O. to apply previous knowledge of definitions to stagecraft.
We hear the front door. They wait, looking towards door. ERIC enters, looking extremely pale and distressed. He meets their inquiring stares. (Act 2, pg 49)

Curtain falls quickly. (Act 2, pg 49)

Exactly as at the end of Act Two. Eric is standing just inside the room and the others are staring at him. (Act 3, pg 50)

ERIC goes for a whiskey. His whole manner of handling the decanter and then the drink shows his familiarity with quick, heavy drinking. The others watch him narrowly. (Act 3, pg. 51)
How do the stage directions build tension?
How do the stage directions build atmosphere (emotion: anger, bitterness, guilt, misery, etc.)?
Compare Gerald and Eric's first meeting with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton.

In what ways are they similar?
How are they different?
Before leaving, the Inspector sums up each character's role in Eva Smith's death.

Read his speech again on pg 56.
Who do you think the Inspector is addressing his speech to?

What do you think the purpose of the speech is?
When the Inspector leaves, how would you describe the emotions of each character in the room and why?
Mr. Birling:
Mrs. Birling:
Inspector Goole's Final Speech
No, I don't think any of you will forget. Nor that young man, Croft, though at least he had some affection for her and made her happy for a time. Well, Eva Smith's gone. You can't do her any more harm. And you can't do her any good now, either. You can't even say 'I'm sorry, Eva Smith.'

But just remember this. One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do. We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I will tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.
"An Inspector Calls," Act 3:
L.O. to analyse development of characters and themes
When the Inspector leaves in Act 3, how would you describe the feelings of each of the characters left in the room? What are they concerned about?
Mr. Birling: Concerned about his knighthood and the public scandal there will be. Blames Eric.
Mrs. Birling: Thinks she has done nothing wrong. Anxious to avoid a scandal.

Sheila: Feels guilty. Angry with her parents for not accepting responsibility.
Eric: Ashamed of his parents and blames his mother for the death of Eva and his child
Starter: Why do you think Priestley chose the name "Eva Smith"?
One Eva Smith has gone – but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do.

Analyse the words "Eva" and "Smith."
Why do you think Priestley has ended the play so abruptly?
Use key words discussed in lesson to respond.
An Inspector Calls, Media Analysis
L.O. to analyse media devices and changes to meaning
1. To what extent is the character of Eva Smith changed or challenged by the film's on-screen interpretation?

2. Does the decision in the film version to include flashback sequences involving Eva Smith increases its impact, in comparison with the play in which Eva never appears?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
"An Inspector Calls," Act 3: Resolution
L.O. to analyse development of characters and themes

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