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An inspector calls

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Analyse the role and function of the inspector in J.B Priestley's 'An inspector calls' In J.B Priestley's play, "An Inspector Calls", the Inspector has a large role to fulfil. Priestley uses the Inspector as a dramatic device to influence the levels of tension on stage. The play opens with a positive, family get-together atmosphere but soon changes when the Inspector arrives. After the Inspector leaves, Mr Birling rings the infirmary and as there hadn't been any suicides, the family were left stunned and confused. They didn't understand how the Inspector knew what was about to happen and why he had spoken to them about it. There are many reasons to suggest that he is not a real police Inspector. Firstly, when Gerald goes out for a walk he meets a real police sergeant and asks him about Inspector Goole, "He swore there wasn't an Inspector Goole or anybody like him on the force here". When Gerald got back from his walk he told the other members of the family and they started to question his sincerity. Also the Birling family were suspicious about the way that the Inspector spoke to them. ...read more.


He may be there to make the Birlings feel guilty and to change the way that they live their life. The inspector comes across as being very moralistic "...A nice little promising life there, and a nasty mess somebody made of it". He says this when he is telling the Birlings about the death of Eva Smith. Even though she is what used to be called working class, the inspector still thought that she had a right to live and to the same things that everybody else does. When he says "It's best to ask for the world than to take it", he thinks that Eva had the right to ask for more pay from Mr Birling. Many men in the middle classes such as the Birlings would agree that Eva Smith had no right to ask for more pay as she is merely a working class girl. He feels that whether you are working class of upper class we "are all members of one body. We are responsible for each other". The inspector may be there to make them realise the consequences of their actions and to make them change into better, more understanding people. ...read more.


Whoever the Inspector may be he is very successful in managing to get the Birlings to confess to what they have done. Goole is often said to speak "sternly", "severely", "very deliberately", "coolly", "gravely", "steadily" and "with calm authority". He is mainly shown to be in emotional control of himself as well as in control of the other characters. By doing this he comes across as very persuasive. He also tells them what to do and what to think, for example "You're not telling me the truth". It seems as if he already knows what has happened. In contrast, the Birling's often speak "miserably", "bitterly", "wildly". They are much less in control of their emotions. This makes it easier for the inspector to get them to confess. In conclusion I think that there are many theories of who and what the inspector was. He can be interpreted by different audiences into many different characters and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The moral of this story is to treat people of different classes with the same respect and that everything you do could affect someone, even if you don't think it will. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aby Stringer 10H ...read more.

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