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Analyse the character of inspector goole. focs on his role in the play,his stage presence and his effect on other characters

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Analyse the character of Inspector Goole, Focus on his role in the play, his stage presence and his effect on other characters. "An Inspector calls" Is set in 1912. This is extremely important to the plot of the play as at this time most women were thought to be inferior to men and open to exploitation which emphasises Eva's role in the play and her struggle which led to her suicide. Priestley based the play on Edwardian England before the wars; a time when the country was divided and lower classes like Eva Smith would live in total poverty as there was no welfare state, an idea idolised by Priestley. The play is also indirectly influenced by J.B.Priestley's experience on the front line during the First World War. Priestley was the victim of a gas attack and narrowly escaped death on many occasions. War made him realise he "was lucky" and he "never ceased to be aware of the fact" as he stated in the introduction to "An Inspector calls." This led him to make "responsibility" one of the key themes of the play, showing if individuals don't take actions to help others they will have devastating consequences. Priestley conveys this message through the central character of Inspector Goole, a police inspector who acts as a catalyst to speed up the evenings events by interrogating the Birlings to force a quick confession out of them. ...read more.


The Inspector creates tension after each episode of questioning causing the character to be frightened and more aware of him. Sheila convinces Gerald to make a quick confession after the Inspector interviews her. She realises "he knows" everything about Eva and hates "to think how much he know that we don't know yet." This emphasises the fear he puts into he minds of the Birlings leading him to have psychological power over them. We also see a fast development in the characters thoughts after each session of questioning, We see Sheila's "sudden alarm" as she realises Eric is the father of Eva's dead child. The inspector works systematically to create maximum effect on the other characters, he waits for Mrs Birling to "blame the young man who was the father of the child" and suggest that he should "be dealt with very severely" before reveling it was in fact her son. The inspector works methodically with only "One person and one line of enquiry at a time." This is so he can dominate the Birlings and censor what information they tell him. He commands them to "come along", "come over here" and "stop". This intimidates the family and forces them to listen to the Inspector, it shows his superiority and emphasises his integral role in the play with the characters and audience clinging to his every word. ...read more.


I believe this is because she is young and has a lot of will power which makes it a lot easier for her to change her bad habitats for the better, She is also less stubborn than her parents and doesn't have her reputation or business to take into account. The Inspector has many roles in the play "An inspector calls." His main role is to act as a catalyst speeding the play up and causing a quick confession out of every member of the Birlings. This teaches the audience about Eva Smith's horrific life and the struggle she had to go through as an Edwardian women. The Inspector also takes on a supernatural role in the play, knowing all the Birlings confessions before he even questions them. The name "Goole" also adds to the mystery of the Inspector as it is closely connected with the word ghoul, a spirit which is said to take fresh life from corpses. This is highly suspicious as the Inspector enters the Birlings lives "two hours" after Eva's death. However I believe the Inspector is a dramatic device of Priestley's as a means of conveying his ideas about morality. In his final speech he states "we are responsible for each other." a key message Priestley was trying to get across to the audience. "An Inspector Calls" would be extremely unsuccessful without the potent character of Inspector Goole as the play wouldn't flow properly and the Birlings would have never confessed to their crimes or as Eric cleverly put it; "He was our police inspector all right." ...read more.

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