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

An Inspector calls - What is the function of the inspector within the whole play?

Extracts from this document...


Lacy Beare 10.15 Thursday 1st May 2003 An Inspector calls GCSE Coursework Assignment What is the function of the inspector within the whole play? In this easy my intention is to examine the ways in which J.B Priestley has used the character of the inspector to try and persuade the other characters to admit their own responsibilities. I will explain how he does this by the impression he makes and the purpose of his presence. J.B Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on the 13th September 1894. Priestley experienced living through the First World War and was influenced by this in his writing. He was very aware of social problems that existed, these involved the miners strike, poverty, women's rights and the outbreak of the war, and this encouraged him to continue with the writing of his plays. 'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1945 and first performed in 1946. The play is set in 1912; this date is significant because it is just before the First World War, this was to highlight the wrongs in society. ...read more.


The Inspector also talks about all the Eva smiths and Johns smiths in the world, saying they are ordinary people and their lives are intertwined with others whether they like it or not. He also uses language like 'us' 'we' and 'our' as though he is talking to everyone and not just one person quote, 'we don't live alone. We are all members of one body. We are responsible of each other.' This speech is very effective in that it reflects J.B.Priestleys own views on war and contrasts strongly with Birlings views which were stated at the beginning of the play. With Birlings speech at the start the inspector's speech at the end this really balances the play, and leaves the audience going out of the theatre thinking of the inspector's words and not Mr Birlings. The inspector is a crucial to the plot and the structure of this play. The plot is very simple a middle-class family are celebrating the engagement of Shelia (the daughter) ...read more.


Priestley uses the inspector to expose the audience's involvement in the wrongs in society, this then makes them question and even possible begin to acknowledge their responsibilities just as the characters on stage do. After the inspector exits the stage, the characters become guideless as if they are saying 'what do we do now?' Like the characters on stage, some of the audience will settle back into their attitudes that they had at the beginning of the play and some will have changed, they will walk out of the theatre and try to change themselves and pass this on to their children and hopefully make society better. To conclude the Inspector is very good in the way he conducts himself and controls everything that is said and done on the stage. He is a tool to get the authors beliefs across to the audience, in the way that he makes the characters confess and accept responsibility for their own actions. The inspector is there to allow the characters to change, to allow the audience to change and to finally see what their roles in society are. ...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. What is the Dramatic Function of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Birling to which she asks for an apology. The inspector says apologise for what doing my duty, which annoys Mrs. Birling. The inspector asks Mrs. Birling what her charity does and Mrs. Birling replies saying it helps deserving cases. The inspector then asks if it is there to help desperate, young women in need, to which Mrs.

  2. Eva Smith's Diary

    It's gone on for too long and I think its Eric's. It must be Eric's because he is the only person I've been sleeping with. I don't want it to be his but there's no other person. If I tell him, he'll probably deny it and say I was lying and that would make me even scared.

  1. What is the function of The Inspector in the play An Inspector Calls?

    Priestley put this in at the beginning to make everyone feel shocked by what had happened. One of the many functions of the Inspector was for him to be a warning. This was achieved by the Inspector's name - 'Goole' which sounds like the word 'Ghoul' which is a type

  2. A Comparison of the Roles of Women in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

    We learn from Priestly that Eva Smith is 24, working class citizen (lower class) ex-worker in Birling Ltd she got fired after going on strike for a pay raise. She was a good worker, ready for promotion, so why did she go on a strike for??

  1. An Inspector Calls - In 1894 J.B Priestley was born into a middle class ...

    and transforms almost instantly into an aura of tension by his uncomfortable questions, despite the families attempt to avoid the inspector's enquiry. He proceeds to slowly reveal the truth in a logical fashion to influence both the play characters and the audience.

  2. What is the function of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls?

    His optimistic views about the future and that 'Nobody wants war, except some half-civilised forks in the Balkans' and this creates dramatic irony because we know World War One is coming. This clearly shows him as a capitalist. He also threatened the Inspector about his friendship with the chief Constable,

  1. What is The Function of the Inspector in the Play?

    This shows that he's very eager to find out information about Eva Smith the girl in which who committed a suicidal death which was why the Inspector was trying to make the character feel guilty in each way he possible can.

  2. Discuss the dramatic function of the inspector in the play as a whole.

    For example, when the Inspector is telling Eric to stay in the house because he might be 'needed' later on (see page 22). He is very forceful in his approach towards each of the characters in turn. At the beginning of the play, the Birling family is joyfully celebrating Sheila

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