An Inspector Calls - Priestley's Presentation of the Inspector

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An Inspector Calls - How does Priestley's presentation of the Inspector create dramatic tension in the play?

'An Inspector Calls'

Question Title:

How does Priestley's presentation of the Inspector create dramatic tension in the play?

During the play 'An Inspector Calls' the Inspector is used as a dramatic device. He raises and decreases the tension due to his attitude, actions, speeches and his symbolic role to the family, and audience at the time when the play was first performed. Throughout my essay I will be examining how Priestley's presentation of the
Inspector generates tension throughout the play.

Before the Inspector is introduced into the play, the atmosphere in the Birling's house is quite relaxed. They
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This part of the play also shows that the family is not as happy as they first appear. Birling, Gerald and Eric are humorously blaming each other for the Inspectors visit. Gerald says: "unless Eric's been up to something." and Eric replies with "Here, what do you mean?"
These comments show the audience that the atmosphere is uneasy because the family know that Eric is not perfect, but they don't directly address this, so treat it like a joke.

The Inspector's name and appearance immediately creates tension when he walks on stage. The name 'Inspector Goole' has connotations with eerie things and the supernatural. The name 'Goole' reminds me of ghosts, monsters, supernatural, mystery and evil. Also the way he dresses and his demeanour puts everyone on edge. The stage direction describes him by saying: "creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness" This Inspector would obviously intimidate the family making them more tense around him.

Tension is raised at this part of the play when Birling says: "Give us some more light." This raises the tension because the atmosphere changes from calm and celebrating mood to an uneasy mood with harsh lighting. The strong lighting would make this part of the play seem more like a police interrogation at a police station. By changing the intensity of the lighting the audience knows that the play is
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