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an inspector calls- discuss the dramatic affect the inspector has upon the play

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Discuss the dramatic affect the Inspector creates in the play. An Inspector Calls was set in 1912 and was written in 1912. The play was set in times when the Edwardian class system was in order. The Edwardian class system was much more amplified than it is these days. During the play the Inspector seems to have a total disregard for this system, which is unusual for these times. The Inspector exerts great dominance over the Birling family and controls their actions adeptly. He does this by dealing with 'one line of enquiry at a time'. This controls the pace and tension of the investigation, which is integral, as the story Eva's life begins to unravel. The Inspector's dominance is astonishing in the play, on his own he brings down the whole family. At times when anyone wants to question him, usually Birling, he strays from answering it, which brings up early questions about his identity. At the beginning of the play, the Birling family and Gerald Croft, who is marrying into the family through Sheila, Sit down and enjoy a quiet celebratory meal. The evening is dominated by Mr Birling who, throughout the night, keeps making speeches displaying his extreme capitalist views. "...a man has to make his own way". The Birlings as a whole look like they are enjoying their wealth and high class, as they seem to feel at home wearing very elegant clothes and sitting around their unnecessarily elaborate house decorations. ...read more.


On a number of occasions the Inspector tries to shock the Birling's. "This afternoon a woman drunk some disinfectant, and died after several hours of agony, tonight in the infirmary" this is again an unnecessary amount of detail which is meant to shock the Birling's into paying attention and feeling they need to, for the sake of the girl, respect the Inspector. The final speech from the Inspector has a moral teaching within it, which he wishes the Birlings and all other people of the upper class to learn. This is also a portrait of the author's thought, which he hopes the audience will learn. The beginning of his speech he says " one Eva Smith is gone but there are millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still with us ..." this is to say that that the Birlings should drastically change their lifesyle and veiws upon the lower class. Towards the end of his speech he says "if man cannot learn this lesson, they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish" This shows how astute the Inspector is. In this quote he, seemingly, accurately predicts a world war. The inspector may also be saying that if the Birling family retains their ways then they are certain to go to hell. In lots of the things the Inspector said he exerted lots of socialist views, which the Birling family, especially Mr Birling, disagree with, as they are capitalists. ...read more.


When the play is finished the audience will leave feeling confused and they will ponder upon the Inspector's identity. If the Inspector was not a real Inspector then, it was reasonable when Gerald began to question the true happenings of Eva Smith. Gerald called the infirmary to check if there really was a girl who died in the Infirmary, but they could not confirm. The newly found evidence of Eva Smith and the Inspector meant that the audience began to really think what the Inspectors true role is in the play. The Inspector was evidently a socialist and the Birlings capitalists, maybe he was solely there to change them and make them better people. I have already mentioned the metaphor 'the Inspector is the iceberg to the Birlings titanic' this is very relevant and he might have been just there to break the family down. In conclusion, all of the drama in the play is either directly related to the Inspector or is involving the Inspector. He disrupts the Birling household immensely; he leaves the foundations of the family shattered. One of the clever things the Inspector does is; instead of breaking the family down by telling them they are awful people and that they have killed a young, innocent girl. He gives them some facts, tells them how they were involved and then he lets them work out in their minds what they have done and how they can avoid a similar situation in the future. . ...read more.

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