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An Inspector Calls:Inspector Goole's role in the play

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Write about Inspector Goole's role in the play. How far is he a believable policeman? How does Priestley use the Inspector in the play? The Inspector holds the most important role in the play. He controls how the events in the play occur. He enters the play just after Arthur Birling has made his speech on his anti socialist ideas as the Inspector rings the doorbell- Mr. Birling basically states that a man has to only look after number one; himself - "a man has to make his own way - has to look after himself". The Inspector's role in the play is to prove Mr. Birling wrong and put across J.B. Priestley's social message that all people are part of an interdependent community. Mr. Birling is already proved wrong even before the Inspector enters the dwelling. Mr. Birling is used to show the audience how correct the Inspector is in his views. Priestley uses dramatic irony to emphasise this point. ...read more.


The name "Goole" is the name of a town at the mouth of the River Humber (Source: York notes). This implies the Inspector is going to fish for information and swim through the lives that the Birlings and Mr. Croft leads. The name is also echoes the word Ghoul. A Ghoul is a spirit which as a rampant interest in death and is a spirit which takes life from dead people; this could show that the Inspector only exists due to Eva Smith's death. The Inspector also works methodically - he only deals with "One line of inquiry at a time". His method when interrogating is to show the person concerned a piece of evidence and then to make them talk about it. Moreover, he is a figure of authority, and he is undeterred when Mr. Birling talked of his friends in high places and his own high authority place in society. Every time he deals with a family member, he talks very powerfully and he cuts in when he feels something unnecessary is being said. ...read more.


This sounds nothing like a policeman's conclusion to an investigation. The structure in the play is well made; the action occurs smoothly in the plot. The acts end on climatic points and try to make the audience guess what will happen next. The acts are divided in a way to allow lapses of dramatic time. This type of structure shows the influence of writers of the period such as Agatha Christie. The play is a mix of the typical Agatha Christie whodunit along with a medieval morality play. The use of An Inspector Calls as a kind of medieval morality play represents that Priestley was trying to get point across to the audience. The inspector shows the voice of Priestley and his belief in socialism. This is shown in the Inspector's final speech, where he states that we must change our ways from the capitalist method where the working class are exploited and we must work together as one body which in turn reinforces Priestley's political message. Actual Essay Word Count = 1,075. Kavi Manektalla 11A ...read more.

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