• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An inspector calls essay

Extracts from this document...


What is the role of the Inspector in "An Inspector Calls"? "An Inspector Calls" is a play written by J.B Priestly in 1945. The play is set in the factious North Midlands industrial city of Brumley in 1912. During this period a rigid class structure existed provincial England. There was also a massive technological advance in this period. I will also discuss the role of the Inspector in the lives of a rich upper middle class family called the Birling (and Gerald Croft), all of whom are involved - to some degree - in the death of a lower class girl called Eva Smith. I will also discuss the role of the Inspector on the audience who will watch this play and Priestly intension. The play consists of 3 acts, which take place in the dining room of the Birlings family home. Their the Birling's are enjoying a family celebration of their daughter Sheila's engagement when a mysterious chap, Goole, who claims to be a Inspector turns up and starts questing them about a working class women who had just died in the infirmary after drinking some disinfectant! Despite Mr. Birling's smugness about the future, the history of Britain from 1912 onwards was far from trouble-free. The First World War began in the 1914 and the unsinkable ship, the titanic, sank. There were mass unemployment in the depression years and the rise in fascism bought international unrest and bought fear throughout the 1930's. ...read more.


> Is it right that they should 'judge' those below them? > Is it right that they can control and influence the lives of the lower classes? > Should the upper class have 'rights' without 'obligations'? In his final speech, just when his about to exit, he is speaking as much to the audience as to the characters on stage. He goes over all the gruesome details for the final time and gives them a lecture. He makes them feel guilty (even Mrs. Birling collapses into a chair) - his speech really stabs them about the full implications of what they really did. He tells them how their actions affect the whole world: "If men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night" These words are a warning to the audience that if we don't stop being selfish their may be a repeat to the 'fire and blood and anguish' of the two world wars. Then he goes, leaving them "staring, subdued and wondering". From the beginning of the play the Inspector is no what he seems. At first you have no suspicions of the Inspector, but as the play progresses on it slowly dawns on you that the Inspector might be an imposter. All my theories may be correct because Priestly does not really mention what he really is and leaves out imagination to come up with conclusions. ...read more.


The Inspector represents the change that was coming to destroy the old way of living. He represents the new world order that's come to destroy the old world order. Inspector Goole has several functions in the play. He acts as the storyteller, linking the separate incidents into one coherent life-story. He often supplies dates or fills in background information. He also behaves like a father confessor to each character, encouraging them to acknowledge their guilt for Eva Smith's suicide, and to repent. Significantly, the Inspector himself never forgives nor punishes. Each character is made to face up to the fact that they must find the courage to judge themselves: only then will they have learned enough to be able to change. Sometimes the Inspector behaves as the voice of social conscience: "You see, we have to share something. If there's nothing else, we'll have too share our guilt" He points out the social responsibilities become greater as privileges increase. Perhaps the Inspector is a religious voice, to make us change our minds if we thought in a selfish way (think about yourself and family first). The role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' is to notify, to the Birling's and audience, that times are changing. People cannot just look out for themselves and their family. We all have the responsibility to look after one another because 'we are members of one body' and if we don't and just judge people because of their class than the may be more deaths like Eva Smiths!! Name: Abdul Odud Roll no.: 5115 English Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    set in 1914, but it still has the same affect on the audience. I think the moral in this play has some thing to do with how events can take effect on some ones life over a period of time.

  2. An Inspector Calls coursework

    She insists on telling the Inspector his duty but has failed to fulfil her duty to her son. Throughout this section the Birlings insist on blaming one another for what has happened, none of them apart from Sheila at this point truly realise what they have done.

  1. 'An Inspector Calls' is based in 1912, before the first and second world war, ...

    Whether they both disregarded the same girl or not, neither of them can see that what they did was wrong and Mr Birling accuses his children of being 'Know it alls' as well as saying 'they can't even take a joke'.

  2. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    She's upsetting herself.' Birling: 'Well-why-why?' Inspector: 'I don't know-yet. That's something I have to find out.' Birling: (still angrily) 'Well- if you don't mind- I'll find out first' The outburst from Sheila and the anger that the Inspector has upset Sheila only fuels Gerald's annoyance that he has been excluded from seeing this photograph.

  1. english coursework - an inspector calls - eric.doc

    It finally sinks in to Mrs. Birling that the drunken boy was her son Eric. Eric then enters, pale and distressed, and says, "You know don't you?" This tells us that Eric was greatly involved with the death of Eva Smith and that he was the father of the unborn child.

  2. Examine the role of the Inspector Goole in "An Inspector Calls" and comment on ...

    Priestly continuously allows Birling to lead himself on up the garden path in his historical predictions and which shows him to be wrong about him whole outlook on the world. Birling continues elevating his own status by talking about how to bring their two families together.

  1. "An Inspector Calls" - issues raised in the play concerning the social structure ...

    Birlings comments about 'The Titanic...every luxury - and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable.' and his comments that 'keep your eye on...progress like that - and not a few German officers talking nonsense'. Mr. Birling goes on to discuss other matters concerning Russia and how it will always be 'behindhand'.

  2. Write about Inspector Goole's role in the play. How far is he a believable ...

    This all strengthens Priestly's political and moral point. He demonstrates this through the play but more importantly, he voices his views in a dramatic and prophetic concluding speech. This didactic encapsulates everything the play is about and Priestly's views.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work