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BHCS An Inspector Calls

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by

Tom Allen

on 9 November 2016

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Transcript of BHCS An Inspector Calls

An Inspector Calls
Context
An Inspector Calls
LO: To be able to comment on the historical context of a play
Do Now: List as many key historical events involving Britain that took place between 1912 and 1945
Questions

1. Describe some of the social conditions in 1912 in Britain.
2. Do the same for 1945.
3. From what you learned in the video, why do you think
Priestley chose to set his play in 1912?
4. Prediction - what do you think the play will be about?
These boys go to Eton. What do you think the fees are?
Registration Fee: £260
Entrance Fee: £1,600

School Fee (Per Half Term): £10,689

Music Fees (90 min weekly lesson): £690 per ht
2013 Fees:
The Great War 1914-1918.
Women's suffrage - 1918 (partial) 1921 (all women over 21)
Independence for Ireland (at least, for part of Ireland) 1921
Economic depression throughout the whole of the inter-war years.
The General Strike 1926
Second World War 1939-1945
Beveridge Report 1942 ('5 Giant Evils' of society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. Foundation of the modern welfare state, NHS etc )
Stage Directions
An Inspector Calls
LO: To be able to able to understand the importance of stage directions to our understanding of the play.
The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl. One by one, it is revealed that all members of the family have a shameful secret which links them with her death.

Characters: Arthur Birling; Sybil Birling; Sheila Birling; Eric Birling; Gerald Croft; Inspector Goole; Edna; Eva Smith
The Plot
Do Now: what do you think is the most significant stage direction at the start of the play?
Close reading of stage directions can make a real difference to your exam grade.
Stage Directions
So... use them as evidence in your writing - exactly as you would use the speech of the characters to prove a point.
Opening Directions - Discussion
Read the stage directions for Act One.

In pairs, pick out any key details that tell you about the Birling Family:
1. What does their
appearance
tell us about them?
2. What does their
household
tell us about them?
3. Pick a character and infer as much as you can about their personality.
Task
Read Mr. Birling's speech on page 6.

How do you think the audience will react to Mr Birling as they hear his speech?
Character
An Inspector Calls
LO: To explore how Priestley presents the Birlings in the first phase of the play.
Starter: Recap - from the stage directions we read last time, what are your initial thoughts about the Birlings as a family? Are they close or do you see potential problems?
We will be reading Act One up to the point where the Inspector arrives.

I need the following characters:

Mr Birling
Mrs Birling
Sheila Birling
Gerald Croft
Eric Birling
Edna
On your tables...

1. You have been given pictures of the characters. Cut them out and stick them in your book, leaving a space beside each one.

2. Your table/group will be given a character to study. You must write
at least 3
quotes from what we have read next to your character. You must also write what the quote reveals about the character.

3. One person from your table will take your findings to the next table clockwise. They will share their findings with this table.
Jigsaw
H/W

A reminder that homework has been set and you will need a copy of the play to complete it.

Due Monday
The Inspector
LO: To be able to identify how Priestley creates tension in Act 1.
Starter: Priestley has the inspector call just as Mr. Birling is in full swing. The ringing of the bell interrupts Mr. Birling's rants about Communism/Capitalism. Why is this significant?
The Inspector's name is Mr. Goole. What might this suggest about him?
Below are 5 'tense' moments from Act 1. For each one, explain why they increase the tension.

1. The inspector is welcomed inside and offered a drink, which he refuses.
2. Birling boasts about his many positions in society. The inspector is unimpressed.
3. After the suicide is announced, we discover that Eva Smith worked for Birling.
4. Birling recognises the woman in the photograph.
5. Birling takes out his frustrations at Eric.
The Plot Thickens
LO: To be able to identify the way in which Priestley presents his main themes.
Read Act Two
Write a mini essay on the following:

How does Priestley present some of his main themes through the character of Mr. Birling in Act 1.
1. What words could be used to describe Mrs Birling?

2. What was the name of charity that Mrs Birling belongs to?

3. What was the purpose of the organisation?

4. What did Eva Smith call herself when she went to the committee?

5. Why did Mrs Birling reject Eva’s appeal? Was this fair?

6. Why did Eva Smith desperately need help from the committee?

7. The Inspector said that Eva Smith needed more money. What else did he say she needed? You need three words.

8. Write a few bullet points explaining what Eva Smith told the Committee. You will need to read page 46 again.

9. Do you think Mrs Birling feels at all responsible for what happened to Eva? Give a reason for your answer.
LO: To be able to respond to an exam question at the highest level
The Question
Do Now: You will have to answer an exam question on 'An Inspector Calls'. What do you think you will be marked on?
Priestley criticises the selfishness of people like the Birlings. What methods does he use to present this selfishness?
Past Questions
1. 'An Inspector Calls' has been called ‘a play of contrasts’.
Write about how Priestley presents some of the contrasts in the play.

2. How does Priestley present the change in Sheila during the course of the play 'An Inspector Calls'? How do you think this change reflects some of Priestley’s ideas?

3. Arthur Birling says, ‘If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn't it?’ How does Priestley present ideas about responsibility in 'An Inspector Calls'?

4. How do you respond to Gerald in 'An Inspector Calls'? How does Priestley make you respond as you do by the ways he writes?

5. How does Priestley show that tension is at the heart of the Birling family?

6. Priestley criticises the selfishness of people like the Birlings. What methods does he use to present this selfishness?
Starter Activity: From our first reading of the play, can you remember if Priestley gave any clues that things were going to go wrong for the Birlings? Discuss with a partner and write down your ideas.
Learning Objective:
To consider how Priestley manipulates the audience by foreshadowing unrest for the Birlings
household materially well off but only superficially happy and united
Lighting becomes harsh to show a complete change of atmosphere
Mr. B is self-important and pompous - doesn't reflect his working class background
Mr. B is self-important and pompous - doesn't reflect his working class background
Lots of signs of luxury - different glasses, cigars, clothing etc.
Each group will now take responsibility for one of the following themes:
Make notes on your theme and how it is
revealed in Act 1
What is selfishness?
What does it mean
by 'methods'?
You'll need 4/5 'points' which we will then find evidence for.
Let's Plan.
Now we sequence the points. What goes first?
Then we have to write a BRIEF introduction. What needs to go into an introduction?
Refusing to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions if we have had no negative results.
Acting in a way that is focused solely on your own interests.
Knowing that others may be hurt by our actions but not changing them.
Not caring about the feelings or experiences of others.
Plot - a chain of events shows that one person's actions can lead to many consequences.
Actions and speech of the characters in the play
Birling = no understanding of the working class
Sheila = no regard for other people
Eric = steals money, uses Eva
Mr B and Mrs B = high position in society but don't use it to benefit others, only themselves.
Inspector = tone and style of questioning, he gets them to admit their faults often using rhetorical questions e.g. Mrs B.
Dramatic Irony - Birling (and those like him) are humiliated; shows their self-confidence and self-importance are misplaced.
Setting - 1912/1945: criticises people not learning from past mistakes.
An answer to the question expressed as a definitive statement.
Show you understand all parts of the question.
Provide some brief examples of the evidence you will use to support your statement.
So how do we do that?

You have to understand the question.
Title
Show you understand and have thought about issues and events in plays or novels you have studied.
Use quotes and references from the plays or novels to back up what you say about them.
Show you understand what methods the writer has used to get their point across.
C-B
B-A
A*
You've explained why you think what you think.
You've used quotes to support your thoughts.
You have shown you understand the effects (intended or otherwise) on the audience.
You have shown you have thought about Priestley's intentions.
So what have we learned about:

Eric?

Gerald?

Mr Birling?
What have we learned about the Inspector in this section?
How has the writer increased the tension in this section?
The Inspector
Full transcript