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

Discuss the function of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the function of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls John Boynton Priestly in 1945 wrote the play 'An Inspector Calls' but set it in 1912. This time difference creates a sense of dramatic irony as the play was written after it was set. The audience would be aware of the events which had taken place between 1912 and 1945, including world war one and two which they would no doubt have experience first hand. 'An Inspector Calls' was first performed in Russia, Moscow. This is significant because of the Russian Revolution, which was a system of collective social responsibility where the sate owned everything and used the wealth to look after its citizens. As England was left destroyed due to the world war, therefore there would have been very few playhouses, so Russia had to be alternative for performing the play. The play is set in three scenes. The entire play is set in the dining room of Mr Birling's house. ...read more.


A good example of this is during Birling's speech he says the Titanic is, "absolutely unsinkable". Also in the stage directions, it says that it is a "sharp ring" and which makes Birling stop to listen. This shows that at the stage there must be some importance because it actually stops Birling talking, which creates even more tension. Just from hearing the term 'Inspector', we instantly know that this person is out to find the underlying cause of the truth. J.B priestly has cleverly used the name of inspector 'goole' for the inspector, because from "goole" sounds like "ghoul" which is a spirit in Arabic mythology, which preys on corpses (dead bodies). This applies mystery to the inspector's character and makes him sound creepy. We are aware of this in the stage directions, "he creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness". Immediately we are engaged to the serious atmosphere because as he creates an impression of, why he is here in this apparently comfortable family home. ...read more.


He knows all about Eva Smith's past life about what the Birling's have done. "He knows of course he knows and I hate to think how much he knows that we don't know yet, Are you sure you don't know". J.B Priestly purposely does not use a question mark in this quote to show that the Inspector already knows the answer. This affects the characters as they are firstly surprised on how much knowledge the inspector has and the Birlings cannot give a straight answer. The Inspector knows so much about Eva smith due to finding her diary and some letters. "I had an idea from something the girl herself wrote". At the start of the play, we are introduced to the Birlings who are no other than an upper class family. The whole family all seem to be living peacefully. Until the moment where it all begins, "It can't be any worse for me than it has been. And it might be better" Sheila says. Gerald replies, "I see". At this stage the relationship shatters and then from there on the worst is spoken by the inspector to the Birlings. ...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. What is the Dramatic Function of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Birlings speech at the start is wrong. The inspector has managed to get them to reveal themselves to each other making them vulnerable. Gerald after a brief discussion with Sheila leaves the house to think. Sheila then asks why he didn't show Gerald the photo and the inspector says it wasn't necessary.

  2. What is the function of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls?

    And because in reality they never learn to take responsibility, in Priestley's novel, Mr Birling in the end disregards what the Inspectors says and continue as normal. Shiela is in her early twenties and is describes as 'fresh, young and pretty.'

  1. Describe and discuss the role of the Inspector In

    formal way " Both Gerald and Eric rise to have a look at the photograph, but the Inspector interposes himself between them and he photograph." " It's the way I like to go to work. One person and one line of inquiry at a time.

  2. An Inspector Calls by John Boynton Priestly.

    Another thing he says is that "Public men Mr Birling, have responsibilities as well as privileges" to which Birling replies "...you weren't asked here to talk to me about my responsibilities." Which also emphasises the fact that the inspector was sent to the Birling household to teach them a lesson

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