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An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls Coursework Essay In the play 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley, the inspector is presented as the main character. The plot revolves around the inspector arriving at the household of a prosperous and apparently respectable factory owner of the early 20th century; determined to find out the reason behind the suicide of a girl named Eva Smith. During the course of the play Priestley gives the inspector many roles and purposes to act upon. The inspector's main purpose in the play is to find out who is responsible for the death of Eva Smith. He constantly questions the characters into confession and makes it look part of his job by saying 'it's my duty to ask questions'. The inspector voices the issue of responsibility towards each and every person mutually with the determination to dig out the upper and lower class division. The inspector mentions to Mr Birling 'Public men...have responsibilities as well as privileges' after he tries to play himself up as a man of great importance. ...read more.


Before the inspector leaves the Birling's he says rather boastingly in his speech '...if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.' This is most likely referring to the death and despair that the two world wars left behind. The inspector also says '...what happened to her then may have determined what happened to her afterwards...' this tells us that the inspector already knows about the events that led to the suicide of Eva Smith. A role that the inspector plays quite frequently is that of a police. Priestley uses the inspector to control the plot so that it is in a certain order. When at first the inspector shows Mr Birling the photo Gerald and Eric are eager to see it themselves yet the inspector says 'one person and one line of inquiry at a time' this illustrates the inspector as a very routine person. When again Gerald asks to see the photo that the inspector has shown so secretively to Sheila the inspector replies 'all in good time', this phrase shows the inspector sticks to his words. ...read more.


Such as when Gerald rather feebly seems to remember that the lady they are discussing is dead, all the inspector can do is severely say 'Yes, she's dead' this is the inspector quite harshly reminding the characters of reality. Priestley's use of various purposes and roles of the inspector in the play gives a very dramatic affect to the play. It also allows Priestley to talk to the audience throughout the play via the inspector. As an audience myself I felt rather taken aback by the storyline and the twists that ultimately led to one point, social disorder. Priestley really bombards the audience with his views at the end when the inspector says 'We are not alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.' Here Priestley summarises the whole point of the inspector in the play, to raise awareness on social disorder in society. The inspector is also portrayed as a figure of an interrogating lawyer. Priestley uses phrases such as 'At the time of time of the incident...' and 'isn't it so that at the time of the event...' these phrases are most commonly used in places of enquiry like the courtroom. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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