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A Suspense Story

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  • Essay length: 907 words
  • Submitted: 04/02/2010
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AS and A Level Composition

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What is Inspector Goole's role and function in the play?

Of all the characters in Priestley's play, " An Inspector Calls", Inspector Goole is by far the most enigmatic. On one hand he is a police inspector, investigating the suicide of a working class girl, and on another he is a determined to correct the ignorance of a wealthy middle-class family. He appears in the middle of act 1, interrupting the Birlings' celebratory dinner and essentially shatters the family's ignorance of their wrongdoings, one at a time. His role and function in the play is essential to its message of social responsibility.

Firstly, Inspector Goole's role in the play is to ensure that the Birlings feel aware responsible for their actions and dissuade the audience from making the same mistakes. After he reveals each of the Birlings' involvement in the suicide of Eva Smith, they begin blaming each other individually for her death. However the Inspector interrupts and tells them "...each of you helped to kill her. Remember that. Never forget it." He says this in order to prevent the Birlings from placing blame on an individual person and instead accept responsibility for assisting in driving

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