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Analyse the character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley.Discuss his:Role in the play Effect on the other characters Stage presence

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Introduction

Post 1914 Drama Analyse the character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. Discuss his: * Role in the play * Effect on the other characters * Stage presence The 'An Inspector Calls' Coursework Second Draft/Final Draft Jonathan Smithies When the Inspector first knocks on the front door, it is dramatic irony because Arthur just said a matter of seconds before of how he 'might get a knighthood if we don't get into any sort of trouble'. This is a very significant time of entering, similar to knocking over a tower of Jenga - everything one has hoped for has just evaporated into thin air. As an audience we expect something very important, an altered atmosphere in the play from this moment forward. The Birling's smug satisfaction is put on hold. It abruptly comes to a halt. Edna comes into the Dining room and says to Mr. Birling, "Please, Sir, an Inspector's called". The Inspector, at first appears to the audience to be a police officer. He said he had recently moved to Brumley; the family find out he is a fake when Arthur rings the police station at the end of the play. This news is even more disturbing than the questioning that takes place throughout the play, because they realised that the Inpsector had deceived them all. They had been had! But on the other hand, was the purpose of the visit fulfilled? ...read more.

Middle

This is Priestley's view. Sybil and Arthur Birling are traditionalists, they don't like change. It was indeed a century of "fire" and "blood" and "anguish" as the Inspector said toward the end of the play. An Inspector Calls illustrates the restless times of the 20th Century. Throughout the play of An Inspector Calls, J B Priestley uses the Inspector as the Birling family conscience. He is trying to get across to them that their words and actions have consequences in the wider world, in this case Eva Smith or Daisy Renton's life. The family drove Eva Smith to suicide, supposedly. The society in these days is no different from when it was set (1912). Our community is still selfish and egotistic. This is very much Mr Birling's type of character. The inspector is showing, Mr Birling in this case, that he needs to look beyond himself and his own needs. The effect the inspector has on the characters varies enormously. I will start with Sheila. She feels very guilty when she realises what she has done and about her involvement with Eva Smith's death. She is really sorry, for her involvement with Eva Smith and is quite happy to admit that. Toward the end of the she has had enough, for her mother being dishonest with the inspector, and realises during the process that her mother has had something to do with the suicide and is not so innocent as she looked after all. ...read more.

Conclusion

What type of person should be portrayed? Should he speak morals or be dangerous? The actor would have to decide how quickly or how slowly he was comfortable speaking. A hoaxer would speak very fast, not allowing the family to think about what he has said. The physique and facial expressions etc. of an actor are essential in choosing the right person for the job. Of course an Inspector would have to be smartly dressed to put across a sense of authority, he would require a closely shaven face or neat beard, (not scruffy and all over the place). He would need to appear very gentlemanly to gain further power and charge of the situation; also it is necessary to have a costume for that would suit the interpretation choice. To conclude, the play An Inspector Calls seems to be a moral, telling the audience through Inspector Goole that there is more to life than just thinking about ourselves. Also it is portraying that our actions and what we say not only have an impact on us, but on the wider world. This is an important lesson that the whole community needs to learn, because we as a nation are as, if not more, selfish and ignorant as the times when this play was set, in 1912. This play ought to have made a difference, but at the state of current affairs at the present day it does not appear to have changed anything. ...read more.

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