In this essay I am going to talk about the opening of the play ‘An Inspector calls’ helps to prove the drama of play to follow. The play ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written in 1945 after the 2nd world war when the industrial revolution began. The play is set in 1912 just before the 1st world war began. The impact of this is immense because of the higher class system was still in place and the industrial and technology was still reforming. This is also the time of the welfare state.
The only characters of the play are the basic seven characters of the play, these characters are Mr Birling, the head the house, Mrs Birling, Mr Birling’s wife, Sheila, their daughter, Gerald, Sheila’s fianci?? , Eric, their son, the inspector and finally Edna, their maid. The few characters mean that at the beginning of the play you can get to know all of them and their traits. The characters’ all develop throughout the play this means that at the beginning you know them as they originally are and learn about who is the good guy in the play and who is stuck up.
First of all I am going to talk about the staging in act 1 and the influence and how much you can tell about the family from this room. The play is set in one room so there is not a lot of change so that you can focus on the play itself and not the setting. The items in the room tell you a lot about the characters and their lives. In the room there is one armchair symbolising that the family does not spend much time together and do not get on?
The armchair tells us that the family tend to sit alone and not together telling us that they do not know much about each other which comes out when the inspector arrives. Around the room are tasteless pictures that influence their richness because the Birlings’ would buy paintings by famous artists that they have not heard of so that when they invite higher-class citizens around it will impress them. This shows that the Birling’s buy their items around the home to impress and not to make their home look nice, this would also boost their egos and make them feel better about themselves.
This is also true about their silverware, Tantalus, candlesticks, and champagne cooler. The room has a telephone in it that also shows their money off because not many people of that time would have telephones, as they would have been very expensive. The telephone is in the centre of the room near the fireplace because it is central to their lives and also central to the plot later on in the play. This is because when the inspector leaves the house after his closing speech, Mr Birling phones the infirmary to check on Eva Smith.
Then he hangs up the phone to find another inspector to be coming to the house because they haven’t learnt their lesson when the fake inspector leaves. The fireplace in the room that is used in the play is not lit this indicates a sense of a not welcoming or warm family. The fireplace indicates that they are not a very close family and are not together as much as they should be. The next aspect of the play I will talk about is the theatricality of the play. This means the setting and room used in the play. This also includes the use of flashbacks in the film of ‘an Inspector calls.
‘ Because only one room is used in the play this makes us get to now the cast more and keep us centred on the one room and not looking around new settings. The use of the one room helps us to find out more about the characters by looking at the setting. And it means we will look at the room in more detail and it will help us look in the objects in the room in more detail so we find out more about their lives and lifestyles. The room only contains one door this means that the characters and actors are limited to one exit, this indicates no exit for them so they cannot escape.
In the setting there is an oval table used which means that the table has no head of the house and cannot determine who is the head of the household. In this part of my essay I will talk about Birling who is the man of the house, he is married to Mrs Birling. I will talk about how Mrs Birling treats him and how he thinks himself to be in society and in his family. Mr Birling is very self centred in that he only thinks of himself and does not care about his family. For example ‘ I think a knighthood should be coming along soon.
‘ This means that he only cares of his status in society, and only wants his knighthood so that his business will do well. When he talks to Gerald’s family he seems to think that they will like him more if he is higher in society as he worked his way to success. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B.