• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10

An Inspector Calls is a play with strong morals. How does Priestley use Inspector Goole to make the characters admit their guilt and to convey a message of morality to the audience?

Extracts from this document...


What is the function of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls?' An Inspector Calls is a play with strong morals. How does Priestley use Inspector Goole to make the characters admit their guilt and to convey a message of morality to the audience? Anchored by a winning performance by Inspector Goole, J.B Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' was first performed in 1946 going forth to becoming one of the most impressionable and influential plays of that time. Based in the year of 1912, the play enters our eyes around the dining table of an upper-class household in Brumley. In this play Priestley captures the capitalist views of the Birlings and his own opinions on socialism. Priestley explains how the morals and values of a capitalist and socialist repel each other. He shows us the vast difference between these two kinds of people by outlining Mr.Birlings character as a rather foolish one, whereas he makes Inspector Goole an authoritative and dominant individual. Inspector Goole embodies a type of character who shares a relationship with society and believes in unity, whereas Mr.Birling, being a capitalist, is shown as an irresponsible individual who doesn't believe in the concept of community or oneness. We come to know the contrast between Mr.Birling and Priestley when Mr.Birling utters: "Community and all that nonsense." This shows that the thoughts of a capitalist and socialist collide hugely with one another. However, Priestley uses dramatic irony to help him voice his views about the issues that are rising within a capitalist society. He highlights one of the problems that is surging within the society through Mr.Birling, like so: "...-except of course in Russia which will be behindhand naturally." During this moment we discover the foolishness that haunts Mr.Birlings soul as a capitalist and his incorrect predictions about the future throws in humour. Throughout my essay I will be unwrapping the functions of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' and also mention how he makes the characters confess. ...read more.


Placing repetition(millions and million and million) in this speech, Goole emphasises and stresses the amount of people who are still living under ghastly conditions. "Their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, with what we think and say and do." Using the Inspector as his mouthpiece, Priestley separates the rich and the poor by adding 'their' and 'our' in his speech. By stressing the two personal pronouns he makes us feel that we need to help them, and as an audience we feel involved with involved with the speech because it has an psychological affect. We feel like an interactive part of the play rather than the spectator himself. In addition, the personal pronouns implicate that the poor don't wallow in sybaritic splendour, therefore they need the people's help. Similarly, by including contrasting pairs like 'hopes' and 'fears' and 'suffering' and 'happiness', as an audience we become more aware for the need of the positive. Moreover, it highlights the good in comparison to the bad, by making it stand out. It is psychologically proved that a series of three repetitions settles with the audience. By stationing the term 'intertwined' within this sentence, the speech attains more power, influence and potential to do superior deeds. It indicates that if one thread(signifying a person) is pulled out from it's place then it all(symbolising the society) becomes unravelled. "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." Once again, Priestley uses personal pronouns to include the audience in his vision. By situating the speech into a religious context, it becomes exceedingly deep, profound and serious. "And I tell you the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." Once again, the insertion of three repetitions will stay with the audience. ...read more.


This shows that Sheila is taking responsibility for her actions and is being sarcastic with her parents because she is infuriated with them for not doing the same. "(Eric)...the fact remains that I did what I did. And mother did what she did. And the rest of you did what you did to her...It's what happened to the girl and what we all did to her that matters. And I still feel the same about it..." This is an example of collective responsibility; Eric is accusing everyone for Eva's murder, and not just himself, although the other's refuse to take responsibility and Eric admits his crime. As the Inspector mentioned earlier on in the play: "We often do on the young one's. They're more impressionable." We believe this because Sheila and Eric, both being of the younger generation, have been influenced more, because they're open-minded. This implies that the future of our society will be more appropriate and sharpened, because the upcoming generation have a greater impact as they prove to be efficacious. Priestley expresses the need for a better society, by highlighting the flaws of capitalism. He divides the characters who have reformed their ways, from the characters who still remain capitalists. Sheila and Eric relinquish after their numerous attempts to convince their parents to accept responsibility for their actions. Priestley expresses this message of how the younger generation are more impressionable by reforming Sheila and Eric throughout the play. This declares that the society we inhabit today, will gradually improve and our community will eventually become more influenced by socialism. As a representative of the audience, I believe that Priestley has elevated my knowledge on the need for a better society, by making the consequences of the sole pursuit of personal wealth, extremely prominent. 'An Inspector Calls' is a play which is relevant to audiences of the twenty-first century, because although our society has improved incredibly since 1946, it still consists of some fields of '-ism'. In conclusion, Priestley has successfully established his message of certain moral values to his audience, through the Inspector's image and his powerful language. Lucky Boparai-10H ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Inspector Goole functions as a mouthpiece for Priestleys ideas. What is his function? How ...

    3 star(s)

    Birling No! Inspector (Firmly) Yes! I know - he's your son and this is your house but look at him. He needs a drink now just to see him through.? Birling All Right, go on." This quote not only shows how the inspector controls the actions of other characters but

  2. In what ways does Priestley explore responsibility in An Inspector Calls?

    it is almost criminal because she is stealing the poor girl's life away from her. The girl was "almost penniless, desperate" but Mrs Birling still used her 'influence' to have it refused. Even her daughter thought it was "cruel and vile".

  1. How does Preistley present the character of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Birling was in the right. However, from the Inspector's perception, this is exactly the opposite of what the Inspector believes therefore he is quick to defend his beliefs. The Inspector also appears to be all-knowing and when asked a question, always knows the correct answer.

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

    He complains, "You're the one I blame for this," as if it were all Eric's fault and he himself did not have anything to do with it whatsoever.

  1. How does Priestley present attitudes to the theme of morality in "An Inspector Calls"?

    When the extent of her doings are revealed, "She came to you for help, at a time when no woman could have needed it more... you not only refused it but used your influence to see that the others refused it too", shows that she, like Birling, has no real

  2. 'An Inspector Calls is full of lies and deceit.' How does Priestley expose weakness ...

    After Birling, Sheila is the next family member to be interviewed by the Inspector. Sheila is described in the stage directions as "a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited." When the Inspector arrives, Sheila is out of the scene/room.

  1. An Inspector Calls - How does the opening scene prepare the audience for the ...

    a period just before the Great War, this is an indication to the audience that whatever comes out of Author Birling mouth may not be truthful. In his next speech there is also three more pieces of dramatic irony, firstly when he states that the Titanic was in his words

  2. How does the character of Sheila Change during the course of J.B. Preistely's "Inspector ...

    Sheila refuses to defer to Gerald as she wants everything out in the open. She wants to know what the rest of her family did as well as her. Sheila knows that the inspector knows about the secret relationship. In act 1 we learnt that Sheila is pleased with life at the moment but she is also a spoilt child.

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