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Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Presentation of Themes in 'An Inspector Calls'

In this worksheet, students will consider how themes are presented through the writer's use of language, structure and dramatic devices and how they help reflect the context in which Priestley was writing.

'Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Presentation of Themes in 'An Inspector Calls'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Year:  GCSE

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   Eduqas, OCR, Pearson Edexcel, AQA,

Curriculum topic:   Post-1914 Prose / Drama, Modern Prose or Drama, Post-1914 Play or Novel, Modern Texts: Drama

Curriculum subtopic:   An Inspector Calls

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

detective speaking on a phone


For the highest marks in the exam, you need to show an excellent understanding of the relationship between the themes in the play and the context in which it was written.


To show that you are writing about ideas in the play in relation to context, you might use sentences such as:


'Priestley presents the theme of (x) to explore the corruption of capitalist society.'

'The theme of (x) is presented by Priestley who had the intention of promoting a socialist viewpoint.'

'Priestley's presentation of (x) highlights how patriarchal society was in 1912.'


For each theme explored, think:

How is the theme presented effectively to show us something about what was happening at the time Priestley was writing and when he set the play?

What were Priestley's intentions in writing the play and what impact does this have on his audience?


Remember that you also need to closely analyse the techniques that Priestley uses to present these themes.


Now have a go at the following activity which will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of the themes in the play.   


You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples.  These quotations are for reference only. 

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