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Analyse the role that Inspector Goole plays in conveying Priestley's social message.

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Introduction

Analyse the role that Inspector Goole plays in conveying Priestley's social message. In the play, the final words of the inspector indicate clearly Priestley's message. The purpose of this speech is to leave the Birlings with an overwhelming feeling of guilt, so they realise what they have done and mend their ways before another tragedy like this occurs again. He says that everybody is "responsible for each other" and that the "millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths" all count as people. This is Priestley's social message to the audience and to the Birlings. The Inspector tells the Birlings that if man will not learn this lesson "then they will be taught in fire, blood and anguish" The events led by the inspector between the two speeches, and the last speech together give the audience a clear idea of his message One of the methods the inspector uses to reinforce J.B.Priestley's message of the play is the way that the inspector repeatedly comments and reminds us of the horrible ordeals Eva Smith went through. ...read more.

Middle

Sympathy is also created when the Inspector suggests "putting ourselves in the place of these young women" because the audience immediately picture hungry, starving girls in their "dingy little back bedrooms", "counting their pennies" and they couldn't imagine having to live their life. Again Sheila and Eric realise that businesses abuse the working class "but these girls aren't cheap labour, they're people" Inspector Goole leads Sheila and Eric into saying such things. He 'spoon-feeds' them so he receives the response he wants, so he can build up a force against Birling. This creates sympathy, as Birling was the one that was 'abusing' the working class in the first place so the audience realise that everybody is ganging up on him. All through the little speeches made by the inspector about the working class, Mr. Birling is very quiet and is obviously taking it all in, and maybe secretly taking note in order to mend his ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

The inspector is crueller to Mrs Birling than to any other character. Sheila says he is "giving us the rope so that we will hang ourselves" This is exactly what he is doing with Mrs Birling, allowing her to dig herself deeper and deeper into the ground, without her realising until irreparable damage had been done. "So, who's the chief culprit then?" Mrs Birling starts to blame Eric... "I blame the young man who was the father" Then she says that this young man should be "made an example of" she is now adamant that it was this boys fault and "ought to be dealt with very severely" Then the inspector breaks the news to Mrs Birling, not in a kind way at all. He was very cruel. "We know what to do don't we? Mrs Birling has just told us." The moral of `An Inspector Calls' is that no matter what class we are we are all equal and that we must work together. Priestly wanted to get this moral across, I think he did, but unfortunately there will always be people like the Birling's. Catherine Sweetman ...read more.

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