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An Inspector Calls

J. B. Priestley

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Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

1. Track the relation of alcohol and drunkenness to the events of the play. Does Priestley believe that alcohol is, in itself, evil, and that it causes people to behave evilly? Or does he indicate that alcohol is an excuse for people to hide behind, when they have done bad things? Account for the nature of “the bar” in the play as part of your answer.

2. What might an Act Four of the play look like? What would it mean for the same Inspector to come back and ask these questions again? Or, what would it do for the play for a new Inspector to ask about the travails of a different girl? Imagine one of these scenarios and tease out the implications.

3. Agree or disagree, with reasons: if Arthur is a capitalist, and the Inspector is a socialist, then Sheila has no political agenda at all. Is this the case? Why or why not?

4. How does dialogue function in the play? That is, how does dialogue reveal the characters’ intentions? And do all characters speak in the same tone, or do manners of speech vary from person to person?

5. How do stage directions function in the play? Pick three instances where stage directions affect the audience’s experience of the story, and explain why.

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