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Explain How the Introductory Stage Directions, What the Characters Say and How They Say It Helps to Influence the Audience Opinions of the Character in an Inspector Calls ?

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Explain how the introductory stage directions, what the characters say and how they say it helps to influence the audience opinions of the character in An Inspector Calls ?

Priestly had successfully made clear descriptions about the characters in ‘An Inspector Calls’ whether it’s from the stage directions, what and how the characters say which would lead the audience to judge and made opinions about them.
It is clearly described in the stage direction which was in beginning of the play that the setting was at a ‘large suburban house’ which belong to a ‘prosperous manufacturer’, this suggests that the characters involved are of a well-off family that is not in a financial need which leads us to assume that the characters are either from a prosperous middle class family or further up. Later on it is stated that the atmosphere of the house is ‘not cosy and homelike’, which emphasises that the family are not close together and instead they have a rather more formal relationship as we can see from the setting of the play (such as that the play was set in 1912 with a high class background’ house which clearly stated that it was not cosy and homelike thus leads an understatement of the relationship).
Also still in the beginning of the stage direction it is said that it would be ‘well-advised’ to adjust the lighting of the stage, it should be ‘pink and intimate’ then change to ‘bright and hard’ as soon as the inspector arrives. This sudden change suggests that at the beginning of the play the characters might have a happy and cosy mood at first but then it dramatically changes to a brighter lighting when the inspector arrives which emphasises that the inspector brings a tense and unsettling atmosphere for the characters which would create the impression by the bright light and dark surrounding the theatre that the characters would be interrogated by the inspector. The audience would assume that the inspector would bring about bad news and unsettlement to the characters by the hinted stage direction Priestley mentioned.
Arthur Birling, one of the character in the play had been described as a ‘heavy looking, rather portentous man…with easy manners but rather provincial speech’. By the descriptions, the reader would definitely catch on that he would be definitely a hard headed man and also by the word ‘portentous’, it gives the image of the character being dark and unfavourable. His ‘provincial speech’ would allow the reader to imply that he would have a limited perception in things and that he would be a narrow and self-centred man. His first dialogue which goes ‘Giving us port, Edna? ... you ought to like this port Gerald, as a matter of fact…it’s exactly the same port your father gets..’ , suggest a tone of show off-ness to ,I assume, impress Gerald about his knowledge about a good and high quality port. Not long after, his wife was ticked off by his mistake on praising the cooks in the presence of Gerald which in some sort in the past was not a good manner of being a high class family. This suggest that somehow Mr Birling was in fact not really of a high class yet, he is sort of more to a middle class position.
On the other hand, Mrs Birling was described as a ‘cold woman’ and is her ‘husband social superior’ and by the event I mentioned above it is somewhat unmistakable to think that she was a snob. Like any other high class women she is aware of the differences between social classes. The description ‘her husband social superior’ suggest that she had a rather better social background from Mr Birling which was proven by the mannerism event I stated before this paragraph and also she seems to be in charge of to the marriage.
Sheila Birling, the eldest daughter of the family who was getting engaged to Gerald Croft as seen in the beginning was described as ‘pretty’ and ‘very pleased with her life and rather excited’, suggest that she might be a naïve and shallow girl and a carefree girl because of the power her family holds in the society. However as soon as she open her mouth, sarcasm was undoubtly present, with the stage direction of how she was speaking in such as ‘gaily’, ‘possessively’, ‘mocking aggressiveness’ and ‘half serious, half playful’ it doesn’t seem that she was the girl being described in the beginning, suggest that she was not a girl anyone would want to be on her bad side. Also she was sure that Gerald had been in some sort of affair when she said, ‘except for all last summer, when you never came near me, I wondered what had happened to you’, even though she was only saying this in a ‘half serious, half playful’ tone, the audience would notice a great foreshadow of troubles it contain that would come after. The dialogue also illustrate the cracks which are present from the very beginning of Sheila and Gerald’ relationship.
In conclusion by this, the audience and the reader alike would take a notice on how the stage directions to what and how the character say their lines affect their images upon the audience and the reader, which create a great significant on how we build each one of their characters and their development, which Priestly successfully conveyed throughout the play.

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