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

'Analyse the Character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J B Preistley'.

Extracts from this document...


'Analyse the Character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J B Preistley' From the very beginning of the play, when the Inspector first appears on the scene, the audience will sense there is something unusual or strange about him. We this, because of the way the lighting changes when he arrives 'The lighting should be pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives and then it should be brighter and harder' This may be trying to tell us that the Inspector has a harsh appearance or character and the audience are being told that the atmosphere will change due to his presence. The change in lighting may also be demonstrating his sheer importance. The way he enters the room is quite mysterious because the stage directions are 'The door slowly opens and the Inspector appears, looking steadily and searchingly at them.' This suggests that the Inspector is a mysterious character or the audience should experience a feeling of suspense when he opens the door as they don't know what to expect. 'looking steadily and searchingly at them' suggest that the Inspector has a pair of eyes like a searchlight, implying he can see everything if he looks in the right direction. When he looks at them, he might be carefully studying them in order that he can get to know them without actually speaking. When the Inspector talks, we get a clear idea of he's ability to cause a sense of unease and importance. When Mr Birling offers the Inspector a drink, he replies 'No thank you Mr Birling, I'm on duty' This may be the Inspector's way of showing he is there for a purpose and not to spend the time drinking. By offering the Inspector a drink, Birling is welcoming him into the household, but the Inspector refuses and says he is 'on duty' which tells the audience and the characters that he goes about his work seriously and carefully. ...read more.


The Inspector, as well as being able to control situations and twist meanings of words, can also turn people against one another. When he is interrogating Sheila, he mentions that Eva's name was changed to Daisy Renton, and Gerald immediately says: 'Do you mind if I give myself a drink Sheila?' Shortly after that, the Inspector leaves the room, giving Sheila and Gerald time to argue about how Gerald knows about Daisy Renton and how he gave himself away: Sheila: Well, Gerald? Gerald: (trying to smile) well what, Sheila? Sheila: How did you come to know this girl - Eva Smith? Gerald: I didn't. Sheila: Daisy Renton then - it's the same thing. Gerald: Why should I have known her? Sheila: Oh don't be stupid. We haven't much time. You gave yourself away as soon as he mentioned her name. Sheila is referring to her own fianc� as 'stupid' which means she is clearly infuriated by what she has learnt so far and is demanding to know the truth. Gerald confesses to the Inspector, with much reluctance, about what happened. He says 'I didn't like the idea of her going back to the Palace bar. I didn't ask for anything in return.' To which Sheila replies: 'Why are you saying that to him? You ought to be saying it to me.' Then Gerald says to Sheila: 'I suppose I ought to really. I'm sorry Sheila. Somehow I- Sheila then says: (cutting in as he hesitates) 'I know. Somehow he makes you.' This shows us that Sheila is aware of the ways in which the Inspector persuades them to tell them the truth. One may expect that Gerald is about to explain why he had this love affair, but instead, Sheila says 'Somehow he makes you.' Which shows the audience how stunned or bewildered she is to see him be able to do this. Sheila always says what she feels which may make the audience feel she is the most honest member of the family. ...read more.


Died in agony-' Eric replies 'alright, don't pile it on.' This means that he is still feels very guilty for what happened and doesn't want the details to be told again in such a merciless way. Sheila and Eric are the most conscientious members of the group, whereas Mr and Mrs Birling, together with Gerald believe that the whole thing is a joke. Because the stage is meant to be packed with heavy furniture, showing off the wealth and success of Birling's work, there is a rich feel, but not a homely touch. This may strike the audience as one of the reasons why the Inspector is so merciless in his interrogations, because he doesn't feel at home. The final speech has so many messages and techniques that the audience cannot fail to notice his peculiar way of getting the message across to people. 'But just remember this...' is a way of addressing everyone, including the family and audience and is a sharp way of beginning a speech. When one uses this way of speaking, it seems quite personal, even thought it is aimed at everyone. When the Inspector says 'one Eva Smith has gone' he is emphasising her death and perhaps making them feel even guiltier. He uses short and direct sentences to emphasise his message - 'We don't live alone.' This may also mean that the Inspector is watching them at all times. This may also carry the message that there is no such thing as social class, and that everyone just lives together as members of one family. Some say the Inspector's speech seems as if the final speech has been rehearsed. Others believe that because he has learnt so much about the family he knows what to say that will make an impression on them. The Inspector can be seen as an embodiment of the nation's conscience and Preistley may have developed this character in such a way to get across to the audience how conscience can come back to haunt you when least expected. Wendy Lee ...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

    Questions and Answers on "An Inspector Calls"

    3 star(s)

    When Sheila comes back, she confesses that she made the manager of the shop fire Eva Smith due to a minor incident. Unlike her father, she regrets what she had done and feels responsible and guilty. 18. "The other four exchange bewildered and perturbed glances" (page 18).

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

    This is socialist (Inspector) versus capitalist (Mr. Birling). The arrival of the Inspector is showing what Priestly thinks of Mr. Birling's views and others who share it. He clearly does not agree and the Inspector arrives just in time to stop him in his speech.

  1. What changes occur between in the relationship between Gerald and Sheila in the course ...

    But when she realises what he says is from the heart and the truth she respects him and understands the difficulty of what he just had to do. After all is said Sheila gives him the ring back and says, " I respect you more now than I ever had."

  2. An Inspector Calls Playscript

    Edna (Mrs.Birling's maid) opens the door. Eva: (sounding nervous) Hello, may I speak to a committee member or advisor please? Edna: (loudly) Madam, someone for you! Mrs.B: (after a pause, looking moody after another disruption and leaning back in her rocking chair) Bring the person in.

  1. Which character or characters changes the most in 'An Inspector Calls'

    He uses Inspector Goole as his median. He makes moralising comments such as, "A pretty, lively sort of girl, who never did anyone any harm. But she died in misery and agony - hating life". His last speech is also very moralising, "But just remember this.

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

    You should have an open mind, try to improve any faults in your personality and be open to others. The main thing that the play wants people to improve on, is to have more consideration for everybody and life does not revolve around money but compassion for others.

  1. Explore the Development of the Character of Sheila in 'An Inspector Calls'

    This makes the character more plausible because it's not conceivable for a character to change so drastically over a small period of time. This also reminds the reader of her character in the beginning of the play. Sheila also seems to be more mature by the time Gerald has finished

  2. Examine the character of Sheila in "An Inspector Calls".

    Also, the dramatist shows that the younger generation can adapt and that there is still hope for the future. Before the Inspector arrives Sheila is portrayed as materialistic and superficial, with a certain respect and likeness towards father, the capitalist Arthur Birling.

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