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An inspector calls_revision


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An inspector calls_revision

  1. 1. TIMELINE YEAR AND MONTH WHAT HAPPENS PERSON INVOLVED September 1910 Eva sacked by Birling and Co. MR BIRLING December 1910 Eva employed by Milwards. Late January 1911 Eva sacked by Milwards. SHEILA BIRLING March 1911 Eva (calling herself Daisy Renton) becomes Gerald’s mistress. GERALD CROFT Early September 1911 Gerald breaks off the affair. GERALD CROFT November 1911 Eric meets Eva. ERIC BIRLING December 1911/January 1912 Eva finds she is pregnant. ERIC BIRLING Late March 1912 Mrs Birling turns down Eva’s application for help. MRS BIRLING Early April 1912 Eva’s suicide/the Inspector calls. ALL
  2. 2. Context of “An Inspector Calls” by J.B. Priestley 0 The play “An Inspector Calls” is one of the two set texts that you will have to answer questions on in the Literature exam that you will take in May. 0 It is important that we understand the context of the play and why Priestley wrote it it’s helpful to know a little about J.B. Priestley’s life and his political views during the early 20th century – a time of great global change. 0 He wrote “An Inspector Calls” after both world wars and like much of his work it contains controversial, politically charged messages.
  3. 3. 0 Keen to pioneer a new ‘morality’ in politics, Priestley’s chief concern involved social inequality in Britain. 0 Priestley had fought in World War I and like many of the men who came back home he wanted a “new England”, where men were equal and the wealth of the nation was shared more evenly – he wanted a socialist government and society. 0 Priestley was involved in helping to set up the Welfare State that we now have as a part of our everyday lives – e.g. National Health Service. 0 Although Priestley wrote the play in 1944 he sets the play in England 1912. He did this as this era was a good example of all the things he wanted to change. 0 In 1912, rigid class and gender boundaries seemed to ensure that nothing would change. Yet by 1945, most of those class and gender divisions had been breached. 0 Priestley wanted to make the most of these changes. Through this play, he encourages people to seize the opportunity the end of the war had given them to build a better, more caring society.
  4. 4. Social, Historical and Cultural Context 1912 – 1945  In April 1912 the Titanic launched on its maiden voyage to New York, but hit an iceberg and sank.  No woman was allowed to vote. The suffragette movement was fighting for women’s rights. In 1913, Emily Davidson gave her life. Women did not get full voting rights until 1928.  In 1914 all of Europe went to war – no real reason just for industrial domination.  1917 – Russian Revolution – within 20 years the country evolved from a backward farming community to an industrial giant.  The Trades Union Movement – once banned – became a stronger united force. In 1926 several major unions – TUC – called all workers out on strike to fight for better working conditions. It was started by the mine workers having their conditions altered.  In 1939 Germany invaded Poland and World War 2 began. The British troops were fighting for freedom and on their return to the UK demanded freedom for themselves as workers.  In 1946 Clement Atlee was elected the first Labour Prime Minister and his major promise was the creation of a Welfare State.
  5. 5. Act 1 Summary The Birling family is celebrating the engagement of Sheila to Gerald Croft, the son of Lord and Lady Croft, who comes from ‘an old country family – landed people’. Arthur Birling is in a good mood and makes a number of speeches giving his views about the state of the world, technology and industrial relations. One of his main themes is about being responsible for themselves; he doesn’t believe that anyone has a responsibility to others apart from his family. When Inspector Goole is announced, Birling and Gerald make a joke about Eric who shows his guilty conscience by reacting strongly to this. The inspector informs Birling about the death of a young woman who has committed suicide by drinking disinfectant. It emerges that Birling had sacked the girl, Eva Smith, two years earlier after she had been one of the ring-leaders in a strike and demanding higher wages. Sheila Birling is also connected to the girl, having had her sacked from her new job at Milwards. She is horrified by what she did and is genuinely remorseful. The inspector seems to know details of the family’s involvement before they speak and when he tells them that the girl changed her name to Daisy Renton, Gerald’s reaction tells us that he, too, knew the girl. When they are temporarily left alone, Sheila warns Gerald not to try to hide anything from the inspector. By the end of the first act, the audience is expecting the inspector to reveal further connections with members of the Birling family.
  6. 6. Act 2 Summary Although Gerald tries to get Sheila to leave the room, she insists on staying. Gerald admits to having had an affair with Eva Smith, the girl he knew as Daisy Renton, the previous summer. Sheila is hurt and disappointed in Gerald who had told her he was busy at the works at that time. After Gerald broke off the affair, Eva/Daisy had left Brumley for a few months. After Sheila has returned her engagement ring to him, Gerald goes out, seemingly genuinely affected by the news of the girl’s death. Despite Sheila’s warnings Mrs Birling tries to intimidate the inspector, believing that she could have no possible connection to the girl. When the inspector reminds her of the pregnant girl she turned away from the charity organisation she chaired, Mrs Birling concedes but felt herself to be justified because the girl had lied to her about her name (calling herself Mrs Birling). She also disbelieved the girl’s claim that she had refused the offer of help from the father of her baby because she believed that he had stolen the money. Mrs Birling digs herself deeper into a hole by insisting that the father of the baby should be made to pay. Eric has been out during this exchange but re-enters right at the end of the scene to expectant faces – we are expecting Eric to be the father of the baby.
  7. 7. Act 3 Summary Eric immediately realises that they all know and tells them of how he met Eva and of her subsequent pregnancy. Questioned closely by the inspector, he also reveals that he had tried to support the girl by giving her money – but he had stolen it from his father’s business. The Birlings seem more horrified by this than his responsibility for the girl’s condition. Having done his job, the inspector makes a speech about social responsibility and leaves the Birlings to examine their behaviour. When Gerald re-enters he has news that there is no Inspector Goole employed by the local police. Birling and Gerald now set about disproving the inspector’s case, although Sheila and Eric feel that that is not the point. When Gerald confirms that no girl has died of drinking disinfectant by telephoning the infirmary, the Birlings and Gerald are delighted and their mood of jollity and good-humour of the beginning of Act 1 returns. Sheila and Eric do not feel the same way, continuing to feel guilt for what they have done and are appalled at the behaviour of Gerald and their parents. When Birling suggests that Sheila take back her engagement ring from Gerald, Sheila remarks that it is too soon. Just at the point where Birling is teasing them for their lack of sense of humour, the telephone rings and Birling is obviously stunned by what he hears: a girl has died in the infirmary and a police inspector is on his way to act them some questions.
  8. 8. characters 0 Mr Arthur Birling 0 Mrs Sybil Birling 0 Sheila Birling 0 Eric Birling 0 Gerald Croft 0 Inspector Goole 0 Eva Smith/Daisy Renton TASK 0 Can you name all the main characters for each text? 0 Can you think of 5 quotes for each character? 0 Can you think of 4 – 5 main incidents that this character is involved in throughout the text? 0 Can you link each character to a major theme?
  9. 9. Themes – Britain in 1912 and 1945 In 1912 Britain was a very different place from how it is now. 0 British society was firmly divided. People with the most money had the most power. The Labour Party was formed in 1906 to represent the interests of the working class. 0 Women weren’t allowed to vote and their lives were farmed more controlled by their families and husbands than today. Britain was heading towards the First World War… 0 There was a dangerous level of tension between the big European countries in 1912, which resulted in the First World War (1914 – 1918). This was a terrible conflict, which cost millions of lives. 0 After the war many British people questioned the leadership given by the upper classes during the war.
  10. 10. Themes – Britain in 1912 and 1945 Things had changed by 1945 – but there were still big problems. 0 By 1928 all men and women over 21 got the vote, which meant power was shared out more evenly. 0 From 1930 a global economic slump known as the Depression hit many British industries. There was a big increase in unemployment and many workers faced terrible poverty. Priestley wrote the play during the Second World War… 0 After the war people wanted to work out how to make a better society. 0 Socialism and other left-wing ideas, which call for the more equal sharing out of wealth and power, became more popular. Right-wing ideas favour private ownership and wealth.
  11. 11. Themes – Britain in 1912 and 1945 Things had changed by 1945 – but there were still big problems. 0 By 1928 all men and women over 21 got the vote, which meant power was shared out more evenly. 0 From 1930 a global economic slump known as the Depression hit many British industries. There was a big increase in unemployment and many workers faced terrible poverty. Priestley wrote the play during the Second World War… 0 After the war people wanted to work out how to make a better society. 0 Socialism and other left-wing ideas, which call for the more equal sharing out of wealth and power, became more popular. Right-wing ideas favour private ownership and wealth.
  12. 12. Themes – Social Class Class drives the plot and shapes the characters. 0 Priestley designed the characters to put his message across about social responsibility. 0 Priestley challenges their views and behaviour in order to challenge the class hierarchy. 0 Priestley portrays the upper classes as having a limited sense of social responsibility for those less well off. They either didn’t know, didn’t want to know or didn’t care. Working Class Had all the hardest jobs and little money. Eva/Daisy Middle Class Owned factories or were professionals. Had plenty of money and control. The Birlings Upper Class Inherited loads of money. Were often Lords and Ladies. Gerald
  13. 13. Themes – Social Class 0 Birling’s biggest concern about Eva Smith’s death is that he won’t get his knighthood because there will be a “public scandal”. 0 He uses Gerald to promote his social class – he asks him to hint to his parents that he’s expecting a knighthood, and he’s also very pleased that his daughter is marrying into a higher class. 0 Priestley uses the play to reveal the unfairness of the class system. The play shows how Priestley saw society. Priestley presents the Birlings’ arrogant behaviour and selfish attitudes as common to the middle classes. 0 Eva Smith could have been anyone. 0 By presenting Sheila and Eric as having changed at the end of the play, turning against the views of their own class, Priestley’s saying that class isn’t all that matters – individuals can break out and choose to act differently.
  14. 14. Themes – Young and Old 0 Arthur and Sybil Birling have very traditional views – they think that children should be seen and not heard and they don’t like their authority to be challenged. They represent the views of the ruling class. 0 The younger generation are shown as challenging the authority of their elders. Because the younger generation learn their lesson, there’s a chance for an equal and fairer society in the future. 0 The fact that Gerald is of the younger generation but remains unchanged suggests that a more caring future isn’t inevitable – people can choose whether to change or not. Priestley is also making a criticism of the upper classes, that they’re set in their ways and therefore unlikely to change.
  15. 15. Themes – Men and Women 0 As the play develops Birling, Gerald and Eric get weaker, while Sheila gets stronger. Priestley does this to challenge the audience’s view of women at the time. 0 Gerald’s rejected by Sheila, and Eric is revealed to be nervous and lazy, with a drinking problem. 0 Sheila starts stating her own opinions. She’s learnt to think for herself. MEN • They’re preoccupied with work and public affairs – e.g. “the miners came out on strike.” • Gerald feels it’s his duty to rescue Daisy/Eva from the womanising Alderman Meggarty. • Gerald is allowed to sleep around before his marriage. Sheila isn’t. Arthur says that even in his day they “broke out and had a bit of fun sometimes”. There are different rules for men and women. WOMEN • They’re supposed to be obsessed with “pretty clothes”, shopping and weddings – Sheila gazes adoringly at her ring and asks, “is it the one you wanted me to have?” • They’re protected against “unpleasant and disturbing things”. • Sheila gets Eva sacked because of pride, vanity and jealousy – stereotypical female traits in the play. • Sheila is accused of being hysterical – a state often associated with women at the time.
  16. 16. Themes – Social Responsibility 0The Inspector’s final speech is clear and to the point – it’s a summary of his lesson about responsibility. 0All the events in An Inspector Calls are connected. Priestley’s moral seems to be that it doesn’t take great people to change the world – we all change it every day just by the way we treat others. 0Priestley was a supporter of socialism – his plays promote social responsibility and criticise the problems caused by the class divide.
  17. 17. theme revision task 0 Can you name 3 key themes for each text? 0 Can you think of a quote for each theme? 0 Can you match a character’s actions or opinion to each key theme? 0 Can you think of 4 – 5 times that this theme is shown throughout the text?
  18. 18. Language Techniques used in ‘An Inspector Calls’ 0 Words such as “chaps” (men) and “jingo” help show the characters’ social class. They’re using language of their social group. 0 The Inspector uses plain and direct language, he only says what he needs to – there can’t be any confusion. 0 He also uses silence – he has a “disconcerting habitat” of staring for a while at a person before he speaks to them. 0 The older Birlings find him offensive because of his manner and language – he is “rude” and “impertinent”. 0 By the end of the play Sheila is confident and assertive.
  19. 19. Priestley uses dramatic irony to influence the audience. 0It seems as if the Inspector’s omniscient – he knows everything. 0The audience know that a lot of what Birling dismisses in his speech actually happened. 0When the audience know more than the characters, it’s called dramatic irony. Language Techniques used in ‘An Inspector Calls’
  20. 20. Language Techniques used in ‘An Inspector Calls’ The Birlings use euphemism to hide what they mean. 0A euphemism is a way of avoiding something unpleasant by using other, often more vague, words. For example, Mrs Birling describes Eva Smith “a girl of that sort” (meaning a lower-class girl). 0The Inspector doesn’t use euphemisms. His language is more direct.
  21. 21. Language Techniques used in ‘An Inspector Calls’ The Inspector uses imagery. 0Language that creates a strong picture is called imagery. 0The Inspector uses graphic imagery to shock – the words “burnt her inside out” create an image that distresses Sheila and the audience. 0The Inspector’s final speech uses imagery from the Bible. This makes the Inspector sound like a religious figure. For example, “we are members of one body.”
  22. 22. Extract questions 0 You will be given an extract of about a page and a single question worth 10 marks and will be expected to pull out quotes from the extract to support your answer. Your answer should be in full sentences and should be at least 1 page of A4. 0 You have about 15 – 20 minutes to answer the question. If your answer is short then add more evidence!
  23. 23. Extract questions – top tips 0 Ask yourself ‘why has this extract been chosen?’ Start off by briefly explaining why the extract is important. It might be a turning point in the play or reveal something new or important about a character. Show that you know how and where it fits into the play. 0 Next, directly address your question focus. For mood and atmosphere questions have a bank of words to describe it in different ways. 0 Track through the text and find evidence, in order, as thoroughly as possible. Use evidence from the whole extract. Don’t forget about using quotes from the stage directions! 0 If you think it is relevant, you can mention something from other parts of the text, but always remain focused on the extract. 20 minutes – one side of A4 – 10 marks
  24. 24. Drama extract questions: 3 main types – audience 0 Compare audiences from 2013 to 1945. 0 You may find a question asking how the audience might respond to this part of the play. If so, talk about how audience members might react to a character’s behaviour or the development of the plot. Choose 5 – 6 examples. 0 Always be specific – no broad statements – support with quotes. 0 Remember to use the stage directions! Example Questions How do you think an audience would respond to this part of the play? Give reasons for what you say. Look closely at how Gerald speaks and behaves here. How could it affect an audience’s feelings towards him?
  25. 25. Drama extract questions: 3 main types – characters 0 What they say, think, feel and do. 0 How they are described – stage directions. 0 What others say, think and feel about them, how they act towards them. Example Questions What does this extract reveal about Mr Birling? Show how the writer demonstrates Sheila’s thoughts and feelings. What are your thoughts and feelings as you read this extract?
  26. 26. Drama extract questions: 3 main types – relationships 0 What characters say to each other and how they say them. 0 What is implied by what characters say. 0 How the characters behave with each other. 0 What their body language reveals. 0 What you think about a character’s relationship – it might change. Example Question Look closely at how Sheila and Mrs Birling speak and behave here. What does it reveal about their relationship?
  27. 27. Extract Question Read the extract and then answer the following question: Look closely at how Gerald speaks and behaves here. How could it affect an audience’s feelings towards him? (10 marks)
  28. 28. Essay questions – 4 main styles Character – what do we learn about Sheila? Theme – who do you have least sympathy with? Directing – what advice would you give the actor playing Sybil Birling? Imagine – imagine you are Arthur Birling after the Inspector has left.
  29. 29. Essay questions – top tips 1. Choose the question you feel the most comfortable with answering. Read the question carefully. 2. Highlight key words in the question. 3. Make a plan/notes. 4. Answer the question – keep focused. 5. Make sure you use PEA. 6. Use direct quotes or paraphrase. 40 minutes – 2/3 pages of A4 – 20 marks
  30. 30. Imagine essay question 0 Write in the first person (as if you were that character). 0 Refer to events or conversations that your character participated in, not ones that they would not be aware of. 0 Try to explain the characters thoughts as if they were your own. 0 Make a particular effort to explain the events that led up to the end of the story. 0 Explore and explain your relationships with other characters and your reactions to things they said or did. 0 Explain the reasons for your behaviour throughout key events of the text.
  31. 31. Success Criteria for Directing Essay Question Things to Include: 0 Reference to social, historical and cultural context 0 Key personal traits of the character 0 Explain where in the play the scene occurs as well as WHY it is integral to the character (what we learn/see/discover) or how it links to a major theme or plot turning point. 4 Key Points: 0 Place/position on stage – in regards to audience, stage and/or other characters and why. 0 Gestures/expressions – face expressions, body (tense or relaxed), eyes (narrow or wide). 0 Movement – adverbs to describe movement (speed) and why they would be moving. 0 How to say something – voice, pitch, speed, tone (emotion and delivery) and why. This is the language analysis and so where the higher marks come in.
  32. 32. directing essay question 0 Re-read the question carefully and highlight the key words in the question. 0 Try to comment on at least 4 incidents from the text that show different aspects of your own character, how others have interacted with you and your own varied views. 0 Remember that every incident needs a QUOTE. 0 Every incident should be dealt with in a paragraph of its own. 0 Every incident should also discuss the 4 Key Areas:  place/position on stage  gestures/expressions  movement  how to say something.
  33. 33. ‘Directing’ Essay Question Give advice to the actor playing Mr Birling on how he should present the character to an audience. Think about: • the way he speaks and behaves with Mrs Birling • the way he speaks and behaves with Sheila, Eric and Gerald • the way he speaks and behaves with the Inspector • his response to the news about Eva Smith • anything else you think important. (20 marks)
  34. 34. Essay Question Choose one of the following questions to answer: 1. One of the main themes in the play is social responsibility. Discuss how the following characters are important to this theme. - Mr and Mrs Birling - Eric - Sheila - Gerald - The Inspector 2. Choose which you think is the most dramatic part of the play. Show how the writer creates tension for an audience. (20 marks)