Mindmaps – an underestimated thinking tool… An Inspector Calls

Arrows are pathways of thoughts

My mind works in colours and shapes.
For anybody like me who struggles to simply read and recite information, this resource could be useful!

Within section A of the January literature exam you are marked on two assessment objectives: AO1 and AO2.
AO1 is your ability to form an essay response, exploring your interpretations in detail and referencing the text. AO2 is your trickier one as it has more to prove!
Here the examiner is marking your ability to show your understanding of the text and Priestley’s purpose – whilst analysing (picking apart and explaining) the language and structural choices within the play. Not too much ay!

Use one A3 sheet of paper for each major character of An Inspector Calls.
For each character create a mindmap with the categories listed below, spacing them out across the page as these act as your revision points and mind-baby inspiration points!

Beneath each category find as many quotes or references to the text as you can think of.
If your quote or reference is linked to the structure or style in which the play is delivered (stage directions, entrances and exits, order of the narrative) then write the quotes in red. If the quotes or references are referring to language spoken by a character, the connotations behind their language or the language technique used by Priestley then write the quote in blue.

When revising you can see whether you solely focus on language (a common error) or blend it with structural/form explorations. Within your exam you need to consider the structural choices by Priestley and the dramatic techniques used as the narrative is in the form of a play. Try to ensure you consider both of these points when answering the exam question. Consider how the entrances and exits reflect responsibility within characters if responsibility is the named theme in the question (how Eric is absent for the greater majority of scene 2 – why? What does it connote? Why does Sheila exit part way through scene 1? What does it connote in relation to her responsibility?)

Mindmaps for characters – titles per character:

Meaning of his name
Physical Description/Impressions of him
Views and Attitudes
Language and Tone

Mr Birling
Physical description and social standing
Views and Attitudes
Language and Tone

Mrs Birling
Hypocritical Nature
Language and Tone

First impressions
Language and Tone

Closeness to the family
Entrances and exits
Language and Tone

Entrances and exits
Language and Tone


One thought on “Mindmaps – an underestimated thinking tool… An Inspector Calls

  1. I had some training once that said that a mind map has to have free flowing lines like this- and that boxes and bubbles cause forgetting because the brain then boxes off the information away from related content. Food for thought for all of us who like neat boxes!

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