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Describe and discuss the role of the Inspector in “An Inspector Calls”

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Daniel Leigh 11Saul English Coursework Describe and discuss the role of the Inspector in "An Inspector Calls" An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestly was first performed in 1945. The play was set in 1912 before the war; it centres around the wealthy Birling family. A visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole proves to be a horrifying experience for the Birling's as they learn that they have all played a part in the suicide of a young girl called Eva Smith. Priestly's main aim was to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions, not to shift the blame on to others. Priestly attempts to convey his attitudes and ideas through the characters in the play. He uses the inspector to voice his own opinions. The Birling's are used to show how not to behave. He established each of his characters in the play the way he thought people were. ...read more.


Inspector Goole's dress sets him apart from the Birling's. They are dressed to impress. `All five are in evening dress of the period, the men in tails and white ties, not dinner jackets'. The women wear long formal dresses. The Inspector by contrast is dressed in a `plain darkish suit of the period'. He is dressed smartly but he is not concerned with status and appearance. Mr. Birling believes its every man for himself, to look after number one, and not to care for poor people to forget about community. He is very sexist as he tries to hide the truth form his family particularly from Sheila. He does this because he believes young girls like Sheila should be shielded from horrible things like death, because women are too weak to cope with harsh reality but he believes men can. ...read more.


His beliefs have not changed even after that has happened. The Inspectors final speech was that `we are all members of one body, we are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire, blood and anguish'. The Inspector represents the voice of Priestly. He believes in community and if we don't work together then disaster is inevitable. Priestly's main aim in the play was to show what would happen if we didn't work together as a community. The play is there to highlight the problems of class divide, he wanted his audiences to learn something from his plays. 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. ...read more.

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