Characterization, Dramatic Devices and Themes Used in Priestley's An Inspector Calls

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In this essay I will discuss why Priestley’s play ‘An Inspector Calls’ is effective, focusing on characterisation, dramatic devices and themes. Firstly, I would like to take a closer look at the character of Mr.Birling. Soon after the play starts we know that Mr.Birling is a man of some significance and is respected when the text states that he’s a 'heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties with fairly easy manners”. We also find that he is the one that first speaks in the play, this shows that he is a dominant character and because of the patriarchal society, he’s the head of the house and the one that makes the decisions. Despite the facts, he also thinks that he is the one that knows everything, but in most cases …show more content…

Soon, Priestley reveals that he is a heavy drinker, however it is clear that the one’s who need to blamed for this are his parents. From their reaction when they find out that their son is an alcoholic, it would seem that they did not suspect anything like this to happen, and that then though that everything was okay. This makes it clear that Eric, has found himself in a situation where he had no one to talk to and therefore solved his problems by drinking. Mrs. Birling is the one that usually knows the truth, but never wants to face the facts, worrying about destroying her perfect world. ”You don’t understand anything. You never did. You never even tried” Eric says, after his mother refuses to believe that Eric is the father of Eva’s Smith child, as well as stealing his own father’s money. However, unlike Mr and Mrs Briling he feels guilty for what he has done and cannot forgive himself for the mistake he has made. Priestley describes him as being ”half shy, half assertive”, who at the start of the play seems a rebellious young man. However towards the end of the play, his true identity reveals that in fact, he is a caring, sensitive person who at the end promises to change the way he spends his money and the way he behaves. Inspector Goole is one of the play’s most important and dominant characters. When he is described as a man that ”creates at once an impression of

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