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An inspector calls was written by J.B. Priestley, full name John Boynton Priestley, in 1945. This play is a great example of some of Priestey's best work. Set in 1912 (the same as 'Eden End', written in 1934) before the war.

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Introduction

An inspector calls Introduction: An inspector calls was written by J.B. Priestley, full name John Boynton Priestley, in 1945. This play is a great example of some of Priestey's best work. Set in 1912 (the same as 'Eden End', written in 1934) before the war. It is about morals and how one's actions can influence the lives of other people. It is also about responsibility for one's actions, both individual and collective, and the consequences that may follow. The characters in the play are shown what their actions have created and the consequences of them. The inspector in the play, Inspector Goole, is not one of the characters being shown the consequences of his own actions, but he is the character revealing them. He has several roles, some obvious, others not so, but all are equally important. In this essay I will be stating my opinion on several points and discussing many areas, some in more detail than others, but all with my personal thoughts and opinions. The dramatic role of the inspector: The role of the inspector, in my opinion, is the most substantial. He is in the centre of everything and Priestley wanted him to seem significant to the other characters so this makes him crucial. Priestley made Inspector Goole seem important by changing the scene when he arrived. The Inspector's entrance is perfectly timed for just when Mr Birling says "a man has to mind his own business, and look after himself and his own" (act 1, p. 10). The Inspector has the opposite opinion to Mr Birling so it is ironic that he should arrive exactly after Mr Birling has stated his opinion, as if the Inspector was there to challenge Mr Birlings view. ...read more.

Middle

(Gerald, act one, p 13), the inspector says, "I'd prefer if you stay." (Inspector Goole, act one, p 13). I think this is because he wants all the characters to know the whole story of Eva Smiths life from when she was fired by Mr Birling, this way they can all fill in the part where they are involved in order when the inspector asks them to. I think the inspectors general way of questioning is very clever as he either shows them a photograph or gets them to confirm they knew her by other means such as a changed name is Gerald's case. Once he has the confirmation he gives them a small amount of information to trigger the characters memory, he then begins to ask his questions which are very short and to the point. After he has asked the question the characters seem to tell him everything they know or knew about her including their input on her life. So really he asks the question then lets the character dig themselves a grave as it were. This is the basic outline of the inquest in to each character, but of course there are slight variations between each character and small differences. Which is why I am going to examine the way the inspector interacted with each of the characters in turn. Starting with Mr Birling as he has the longest history with Eva Smith and ending with Mrs Birling as she has the shortest history with Eva Smith as she only met her two weeks ago. I will show two things that the inspector did, one is how Inspector Goole drew the truth out of them and two is how he made each of the characters face up to their responsibility concerning the suicide of Eva Smith. ...read more.

Conclusion

After inspector Goole has explained what everyone knows so far to Mr and Mrs Birling he asks Gerald "when did you first get to know her?" (Inspector Goole, act two, p 33). Gerald first acts dumb pretending he doesn't know what the inspector is on about, which makes the inspector 's job of getting the truth out of them a bit harder, though when Inspector Goole says that he already knew and Sheila gave him away he decides its best to tell the truth, "All right, if you must have it." (Gerald, act two, p 34). Sheila is more of a hindrance then a help to the inspector as she wants to hear all about it and Gerald is rather put of with her around making comments like "Well, we didn't think you meant Buckingham Palace." (Sheila, act two, p 34). He tells his story, with the inspector turning on anyone who got in the way, for example with Mr Birling, when he says (angrily) "I really must protest -", (Mr Birling, act two, p 37) "Why should you do any protesting? It was you who turned the girl out in the first place." (Inspector Goole, act two, p 37). I don't think that the inspector needed to make Gerald face up to any responsibility as he was probably the one bright spark in her life since when she was fired, he took pity on her and liked her. The only thing he needs to feel guilty about in my eyes is the fact that he cheated on Sheila. I think that this play is more about the Birling family characters facing up to responsibility more than anyone else, and that they are the main ones who need to feel guilty, not Gerald Croft. Eric; Mrs Birling; ...read more.

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