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

Analyse the role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' By J.B Priestley

Extracts from this document...


Analyse the role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' By J.B Priestley Priestley's play An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 after the Second World War. Priestley joined the infantry in the Second World War and his experiences may have influenced his writing, by expressing his thoughts through the characters. As a young man he gained practical work experience and he found himself surrounded by 'people who read a great deal, cared a lot for at least one of the arts, and preferred real talk...hot argument to social chit chat.' He grew up in his fathers' circle of socialist friends, and he joined in with their political arguments. These discussions also influenced and framed the values which were later to predominate in An Inspector calls. The play is set in 1912 just before the First World War. During this period there were things happening in society that caused political unrest. The exploitation of workers lead to strikes and the threat of war made people uneasy. These events are significant to when the play was set, as this was the time when capitalists took advantage of others. Priestley uses the Birlings to represent the capitalists that exploit their workers. ...read more.


These quotes have a great impact on the post-war audiences of 1945. When showing the picture of Eva Smith/Daisy Renton to each of the characters Inspector Goole made sure that only one person looked at the picture at a time. He did this by placing himself between the character involved and the other characters. By using this juxtaposition the inspector builds metaphorical walls between the characters. With these walls surrounding them, the inspector breaks the characters down by making them confess. In some cases it was recognised, as Sheila says to her mother: "We all started like that - so confident, so pleased with ourselves until he began asking us questions." Sheila has recognised that the inspector is breaking them down and therefore warns the others to be careful about what they say. Sheila says: "You mustn't try to build up a kind of wall between us and that girl. If you do then the inspector will just break it down. And it'll be all the worse when he does." Throughout the scenes the inspector is in control as the stage directions show: '(massively taking charge) and (cutting in with authority).' 'He speaks carefully, weightily and looks hard at the person he addresses, which makes the audience feel that he knows more than he is letting on.' ...read more.


This shows that the audience of post 1945 are to learn a lesson about looking after everyone, even those of lower classes. The inspector carries on, saying: "...will be taught ...in fire and blood and anguish." Priestley refers to World War One with this part of the quote. (It is this unreal quality of the inspector's final prophecy that imbues the inspector with an almost supernatural quality.) It didn't matter what class you were in during the war anyone could have been bombed or killed. This prophecy is a dramatic device used to leave the audience in thought. "Priestley successfully moves both his play and his audience beyond the bounds of naturalism." From this play Priestly has made me understand that we must look after one another and treat each other equally and moderately, no matter who we are or what our status is. We must all consider what we think and say and do to people because we are all human beings living a life together in one world. Some people's lives are affected by others and if we do not consider one another's feelings then there will be a lesson for everyone to learn. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rashida Khanom Post 1914 Drama: Coursework - 1 - ...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. Discussion on "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley.

    However then in methodical order skipping Eric's crime and purposely moving onto Mrs Birlings crime because of another unusual tactic Inspector Goole conducts while interviewing a character. He lets them talk big of them selves (usually in opposite or against the crime they've committed), "building up a wall that is

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

    - and lord Mayor two years ago - and I'm still on the Bench - so I know the Brumley police officers pretty well - and I thought I'd never seen you before'. They try to do this because they know that the police inspector is of a higher status.

  1. Essay on "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley

    He spoke in threes, to make it engrossing and persuasive, "think and say and do...their lives, their hopes and fears...fire and blood and anguish." The Inspector used irony in "fire...blood...anguish" as terms for war, making the audience empathise with the Inspector and persuade them to change their ways because they have too lived through both World Wars.

  2. How does JB Priestley expound his views of social hypocrisy in An Inspector Calls?

    Both her parents were dead, so that shed no home to go back to'. She was also 'living in lodgings, with no relatives to help her, few friends, lonely, half starved, she was feeling desperate'. This tells us that she was in a very bad condition after the Birlings had sacked her.

  1. 'An Inspector Calls' Consider the role of the inspector and the effect he has ...

    Eric reacts quite suddenly and involuntarily responds with a genuine expression of upset, 'My God! ' This shows that from the beginning Eric has some good in him. This is a clear contrast with Birling's attitude, 'But I don't understand why you should come here, Inspector...'

  2. What is the Role of the Inspector in J.B Priestley's?'An Inspector Calls'

    Throughout the play, however, we discover that Gerald's excuse was a lie and that he was actually having 'A love affair with Daisy Renton.' Daisy Renton is one of Eva Smith's fake names. Inspector Goole explains to Mr. Birling that he shouldn't be selfish and greedy and he shouldn't exploit people when he has the occasion to.

  1. An inspector calls - How well does Sheila's comment explain the action of the ...

    Another example is what crime he has come to tell the Birlings. He explains it in away that a normal inspector would not do. Normally if there was a murder the inspector would say it is a murder however this inspector does not.

  2. An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley

    We see this attitude when he is being questioned. "There's a very good chance of a knighthood" Mr Birling sees a possible knighthood as a fair reward for his involvement in local politics. This will mean a lot more to Birling because a knighthood would equal him to Sir George Croft.

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