An Inspector Calls Essay Questions Gcse

These are a mixture of extract questions and standard exam questions for AQA and OCR GCSE on An Inspector Calls.



Get more An Inspector Calls Resources, Quotes and Essays here











JANUARY 2011 

EITHER 
Question 17
How does Priestley show that tension is at the heart of the Birling family? (30 marks) 
OR 
Question 18 
Priestley criticises the selfishness of people like the Birlings. What methods does he use to present this selfishness? (30 marks) 

JUNE 2011 EITHER
Question 17 
An Inspector Calls has been called ‘a play of contrasts’. Write about how Priestley presents some of the contrasts in the play. (30 marks)
OR 
Question 18  
How does Priestley present the change in Sheila during the course of the play An Inspector Calls? How do you think this change reflects some of Priestley’s ideas?

 
JAN 2012 
EITHER
Question 17 
Arthur Birling says, ‘If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn’t it?’ How does Priestley present ideas about responsibility in An Inspector Calls? (30 marks)
OR
Question 18 
How do you respond to Gerald in An Inspector Calls? How does Priestley make you respond as you do by the ways he writes? (30 marks) 

JUNE 2012 EITHER
Question 17 
How does Priestley present Arthur Birling in An Inspector Calls? 
 Write about:


  •  what Arthur Birling says and does
  •  the methods Priestley uses to present him. (30 marks)

OR

Question 18
In An Inspector Calls Eric and Sheila Birling are brother and sister. How are they alike 
and how are they different?
 Write about:


  •  what Eric and Sheila say and do
  •  similarities and differences between them
  •  the methods Priestley uses to present Eric and Sheila. 


JAN 2013 EITHER
Question 17 In Act 2 of An Inspector Calls, Sheila says to her mother, Mrs Birling, “But we really must stop these silly pretences”. How does Priestley show, in his presentation of Mrs Birling, that she often pretends to be something she is not? (30 marks) SPaG: (4 marks)
OR
Question 18 How important do you think social class is in An Inspector Calls and how does Priestley present ideas about social class? (30 marks) SPaG: (4 marks)


Example notes for Jan 13 Q18

Ideas about the class system – reference to the maid and Mrs Birling as ‘her husband’s social superior’ Ideas about characters – e.g. how Sheila is ‘pleased with life’, Eric being ‘not quite at ease’ The whole family being ‘pleased with themselves’ The idea of the house not being ‘ cosy and homelike’ Use of irony – this world is turned upside down by the arrival of Inspector Goole Reference to the lighting and how it is significant later in the play Details used to present the Birling house / family and what they suggest Features of language / stage directions / structure from later in the play relevant to 

You need to be familiar with the social and historical context, but please try not to infodump this into paragraph one. Equally, don't forget and leave it out completely!

Find out what questions are really asking here.

Some further example questions you might encounter:


  1. In what ways does Priestley make this [choose your own extract] such an effective and important scene in the play?
  2. Discuss how Priestley’s portrayal of [choose character] contributes to the themes and the dramatic effect of An Inspector Calls. Give evidence.
  3. How does Priestly make this [choose your own extract] such a dramatic and meaningful conclusion to [choose your own act]?
  4. How does Priestly make this [choose your own extract] such a dramatic and meaningful opening to [choose your own act]?
  5. Explore one or two moments in the play when Priestley makes the on stage presence of [choose character] particularly powerful. Give evidence.
  6. What do you think is the importance of Inspector Goole and how does Priestly present him?
  7. [Pick your own extract]. In the rest of the play, how does Priestley present and develop some of the ideas shown here?
  8. [Birling/Eric/Mrs Birling] is the least sympathetic character in the play. How far do you agree? Give your reasons.
  9. How do you respond to Gerald in An Inspector Calls? How does Priestley make you respond as you do by the ways he writes? 
  10. Priestly shows that the Birling family are responsible for the death of the girl. Who do you think he suggests is most responsible? Give evidence for your argument and explain why.
  11. Arthur Birling says, ‘If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn’t it?’ How does Priestley explore the theme of [choose: responsibility/social injustice] in An Inspector Calls?
  12. How do you respond to [character] in An Inspector Calls? How does Priestley make you respond as you do by the ways he writes?
  13. An Inspector Calls has been called ‘a play of contrasts’. Write about how Priestley presents some of the contrasts in the play.
  14. How does Priestley present the change in Sheila during the course of the play An Inspector Calls? How do you think this change reflects some of Priestley’s ideas?
  15. How does Priestley show that tension is at the heart of the Birling family?
  16. Priestley criticises the selfishness of people like the Birlings. What methods does he use to present this selfishness?

English Literature Paper 1 is 1 hour and 45 mins long, and will be on Macbeth and An Inspector Calls. The full text can be found here: An-Inspector-Calls-Full-Text.

For An Inspector Calls you will get  choice of two questions but only need to answer ONE.

  • The questions will definitely include a quotation from the play which you should engage with
  • The questions will ask about a key theme or character
  • Choose the question which you feel most comfortable with
  • You will be given: 16 marks for AO1 (interpretation, knowledge, answering the question), 16 marks for AO3 (context) and 8 marks for AO4 (technical accuracy and expression)
  • You should spend 5 mins planning and 40 minutes writing your response

Use the knowledge organisers to help test your knowledge of the text:

An Inspector Calls Knowledge Organiser

An Inspector Calls Knowledge Map

A list of key quotations can be found here:

AIC quotations to memorise

The following documents contain documents that can help you revise the themes and characters from the play:

An-Inspector-Calls-Revision-Guide

AIC Model Paragraph

An Inspector Calls Context

Eva Smith

Social Conscience and Responsibility

Below are a range of resources to help test your examination skills for An Inspector Calls:

AIC Revisit – Exam question

WT Mock Lit 1 Inspector

Essay plan – questions

Question Breakdown – Lit

Statement Banks

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