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Discuss the role and function of the character of the Inspector.

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Introduction

Discuss the role and function of the character of the Inspector. In my essay, I will be looking at the excellent J.B. Priestly dramatic play 'an Inspector Calls'. The play was written in 1945 and the first produced in 1948. It was set in 1912 in Brumley an industrial site in the North Midlands, England. In addition, it only took him a week to write it. 'An Inspector Calls' is a play about the investigation of Eva Smith's death and what effect it has on the Birling family. The Birling family consists of Mr Birling, Mrs Birling, Sheila and Eric. There is another person who is close to the Birling family Gerald Croft, Sheila's fianc�e. Each of the Birling's and Gerald Croft are affected in different ways and I will try to explain these later in my essay. 'An Inspector Calls' is a type of 'cluedo'. The story of who drove Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton and Ms Birling to commit suicide. All the names before are names that she went under before she died. It is also a type of 'morality' play. It has a moral to it that I will tell you too a little later in my essay. The Inspector Goole is most definitely the main character in the play and his 'main function' is to get each member of the Birling family and Gerald Croft to confess their individual involvement in Eva Smith's death and make them admit to their guilt. ...read more.

Middle

Even during the later stages of the play, he has to be forced to talk to the Inspector. Eric has a very sympathetic over Eva Smith's death "it's a damn shame." He is also very surprised "my god." Eric thinks that his father "could have kept her on instead of throwing her out." This is also before he finds out it is the girl that he made pregnant. The Inspector enters the Birling's house during a joyful celebration of Sheila and Gerald Crofts engagement. He enters whilst Mr Birling, Gerald Croft and Eric are enjoying a glass of port that was very expensive in those days. As soon as the Inspector enters, Mr Birling tries to put him in his place by using his status "I was an alderman for years" however, he is not intimidated and goes straight to suggesting, "it may be you" who killed Eva Smith. He also makes a great impression on the audience. For a start he is quite short as stated at the begging of the play but still manages although Mr Birling is socially superior to him the Inspector does not take any notice of how rude Mr Birling is being and carries on trying to get Mr Birling to admit his guilt and involvement in Eva Smith's death. ...read more.

Conclusion

The inspector is actually the perfect mouthpiece for the author J.B. Priestly he gets across all the points that need to be made and still implies nowadays as well. "One Eva Smith has gone but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us." This is mentioning the people on the streets with no homes if one dies another will appear and will always be among us. "We are members of one body" we are each responsible for one another. The Inspector then says, "If men will not learn that lesson then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish. This is highly relevant because World War 1 occurred only two years later. Obviously they did not learn there lesson! Overall, I think that J.B. Priestly has succeeded in creating at first glance a realistic character. It is only when you look in much finer detail you discover how supernatural the Inspector actually is. I think J.B. Priestly has successfully chose the best dramatic device to get his own views across, "public men...have responsibilities too." In short, J.B. Priestly has achieved his goal of getting his views on social structure across however high up the person may be they do still feel guilt. To conclude the play could not run smoothly, no could not run at all without "INSPECTOR GOOLE" Written By Darren Linter 02/05/2007 8:37 PM 1 ...read more.

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