This GCSE English Literature quiz looks at the dialogue in JB Priestley's play, An Inspector Calls.
Dialogue is another word for speech, or, more specifically, a conversation between characters. In a play, such as An Inspector Calls, the majority of the text consists of dialogue. Each character has a unique manner of speech which can be easily distinguished from that of other characters. Most of the dialogue is in the form of the Inspector’s interrogation of the Birling family and Gerald. The private conversations which take place without the Inspector being present are also very informative, as are the conversations between characters following the many revelations brought about by the Inspector’s questions.
You can learn a great deal about characters through dialogue. Pay attention to how different characters speak, the words they use, how they address others, and how their speech changes according to different situations or conversational partners.
You can also learn more about the story, including events which happened before the story begins, and how characters expect to see future events unfold.
When preparing for a literature exam, it can be very useful to memorise dialogue. You can create a bank of useful quotations to illustrate characteristics, turning points for a character or in the plot, or important themes.
The quiz below focusses on knowing who is speaking each of these lines. When answering the questions, think carefully about the significance of the lines. What do they tell us about the character who speaks them? If you can’t imagine another character speaking the same words, ask yourself why? Other points to consider is whether the dialogue gives us information about the person being addressed, or whether it foreshadows or explain later events.