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Both Eva Smith and Inspector Goole are shadowy characters in 'An Inspector Calls' Examine their roles in the play.

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An Inspector Calls By Andy Stockbridge Both Eva Smith and Inspector Goole are shadowy characters in 'An Inspector Calls' Examine their roles in the play. 'An Inspector Calls' is a play written by JB Priestley in 1945, after both world wars, yet set in 1912, before both world wars. In this essay I hope to explore the characters of Eva Smith and Inspector Goole. Firstly, I will look at how the Inspector is portrayed as shadowy. Throughout the play, he has a spooky feel to him which may start from his name being 'Goole' which could be pronounced the same as 'Ghoul', which is a ghost. Secondly, the inspector seems to know all about the family and what happened before he even asks the questions. This is shown by the time he comes into the play straight, after Birling gave a speech about how "a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own..." The inspector comes in and throughout the play he contradicts this comment that he supposedly didn't hear. At the end, Sheila seems to realise that the inspector knew almost too much "We hardly told him anything he didn't know." A further point is, he seems to know everything about the future which works in direct comparison to Mr Birling. ...read more.


The Inspector controls the development of events. He is the one that decides who will speak and when, then who may or may not leave and who will or will not see the photograph. This is even though he is in someone else's house who, as Birling frequently says, was "a lord mayor of this town just a few years back AND still a magistrate." Even Priestley describes the Inspector, when he first appears on stage by saying "he creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness" symbolizing the fact that he has the leading role within the play. His "disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before speaking'" sounds as if he almost sees through a person's surface to the real person beneath and what they are thinking, not just what they are saying. It also gives him a thoughtfulness that contrasts with the thoughtlessness of each character's treatment of Eva Smith. His role in the play is not simply to confront each character with the truth, but to force each character to admit the truth they already know through what they have An Inspector Calls By Andy Stockbridge Both Eva Smith and Inspector Goole are shadowy characters in 'An Inspector Calls' Examine their roles in the play. done. He works methodically through the characters present one at a time, partly because he recognizes that "otherwise, there's a muddle", and partly because, given ...read more.


next time, it will be the apocalyptic future predicted by the Inspector's final speech that lies in store for them and for us. The Inspector sees through each character. He forces each character to admit what they already secretly know. He is Priestley's vehicle for his views on social responsibility. He is the catalyst for the play's events. He controls the play's events. He has a moral dimension. He brings about each character's punishment through their own actions. He is each character's last chance. If she is one person and did meat all of the family plus Gerald then her role is as the victim of the Birling family's mistakes collectively causing so much grief that she felt she no longer wanted to live. Thus being the cause of an opportunity for the Birling family to change there ways for the better. However, if she was lots of different people then her role was for the "Inspector" to make his point and he used her to do so. Her role would no longer involve any pain. She would just be a "story" used to make a point. In the end, her effect on the play is the same. She is the one that makes the Birling family and Gerald think about what they have done, the consequences of what they do and probably, most importantly, the responsibility they have to the society and the world they live in. 1 ...read more.

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