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Discus the role of Inspector Goole, considering a verity of different interpretations and using textual evidence to support your response

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Discus the role of Inspector Goole, considering a verity of different interpretations and using textual evidence to support your response The play, 'An Inspector Calls' gives the audience a great insight into the early 1900s. Two of the key political viewpoints that are expressed in the play are socialist and capitalist. During the 1900s the gulf between the upper and lower classes was at an all time high. The play explores many political viewpoints, many of which are Priestley's own. Priestley is a strong socialist, he uses the character Mr Birling to express his dislike for capitalists. The play was written in 1945 but was set in 1912. This was a useful strategy to help create dramatic irony, and make the birlings look foolish, for example, Mr Birling says "I say there isn't a chance of war." Yet as we know there was a war, Priestley also knew this so by having Mr Birling say this, Priestley has made him look stupid because he was wrong and therefore putting his views across to the audience about his opinions on capitalists. This play is full of different interpretations of Inspector Goole. One of the common interpretations is that Goole is used as a tool or a vehicle for Priestleys political views. It is made clear to the audience that Goole's viewpoints are in complete contrast with the Birling's. ...read more.


Before the inspector spoke the Birlings, they seemed oblivious to lives of working class people or at least thought that their lives shouldn't be taken much notice of. Gerald compliments the cook and Mrs Birlings response to this is ' Your not supposed to say such things.' This shows her snobbish attitude towards working class people, she believed that staff should not be thanked. This attitude was changed after Goole had spoken to the family. When Eric has found out that Sheila had got Eva sacked from Millwards he says 'My God, it's a bit think, when you come to think of it.' This implies that he thinks that what she has done is harsh. In response to this, Sheila says ' Oh shut up Eric. I know, I know. It's the only time I've ever done anything like that and I shall never do it again to anybody.' By the inspector being a time traveller he shows that people need to be aware of the changes in the world. Maybe at one point, the attitude of most people was very capitalist, but times must have changed and people must have started to see a more socialist point of view but the Birlings hadn't until Goole visited them. There is strong evidence that the inspector is a time traveller found at the end of the play. ...read more.


But it might have done.' This shows Sheila is realising what the consequences of her actions are and she feels guilty for them. Weather the Bilings change or not is irrelevant in my opinion. I think this play was written to get the audience to think. The Birlings are a made up family, it doesn't matter if they change or not, but the audience are real. Priestley's main objective when writing this book was to make a real difference in the real world when it comes to class differences. Considering the time when this play was written, I believe it would have received negative feed back. In 1945, there majority of the population was capitalist, they ruled the community. For someone to write a play supporting socialist views would appear as an insult to the majority of people. Although, I think this play would have made people think and would have had a bigger effect on people back in 1945 then it does now as we live under a moderate labour government. My personal favourite interpretation on Goole is that he represents a ghost. Not only does this seem like the most logical interpretation, as the inspector seems to know everything and be omniscient but at the end of the play when Gerald phones up the police station to see if Inspector Goole really exists, he spells his name out G-O-O-L-E emphasising the spelling of it. Yet if it was spelt differently but keeping the same pronunciation, ghoul, this is a type of ghost. Although all the interpretations of Goole are feasible. Esther Bainbridge ...read more.

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