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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Marked by a teacher


    4 star(s)

    Sunday 25th March 1912, I've made up my mind. Im going to see the Brumley Womens Society, tomorrow. I've been stuck in this rut long enough now and I've got to do something about it. Im clearly showing now, so maybe they'll believe my story a bit more.

  2. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    She realises that this could have been a possible outcome of the situation, and that they were very fortunate that it was not. Birling puts forward his view that, "The whole thing's different now..." and continues acting irresponsibly to mockingly imitate the Inspector.

  1. Eva Smith's Diary.

    I came back as a different person. I am Daisy Renton now and eventually I really feel like I fit in with the new name. I can't wait to meet him again... Daisy x 23rd November 1911 I met him again! I knew he would be wonderful.

  2. Examine the function and symbolism of the Inspector

    The Inspector does gain the upper hand upon Birling by turning his children Eric and Sheila against him. He mentions that the younger ones are 'more impressionable'. Eric and Sheila are more prepared to listen and accept the Inspector's views, as they are not as bound to tradition and selfish as their father.

  1. Who is inspector Goole and what is his function in the play? How may ...

    The Inspector punishes each character in the way that suits each one of the Birling's and Gerald. Birling fears for his family's reputation (Birling to Inspector) "What do you mean by saying that? You talk as if we were responsible"; Sheila feels shame for her selfishness;(Sheila says)

  2. What is the Dramatic Function of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    After Gerald it is Mrs. Birling 'turn' for questioning. The inspector starts of by showing Mrs. Birling a photo but he doesn't show the others again creating a dramatic impact. Mrs. Birling from the beginning says she does not recognise the photo and the Inspector has a little moan and a dig at Mrs.

  1. Eva Smith's Diary

    go to Blackpool and spend my money - I've been saving up to pay for ticket. As usual the same dirty dusty old carriage but what more could they do for the working class people - no sympathy. I've been standing up through the whole journeying and now my legs

  2. Trace the development of Sheila throughout the play, and discuss her function as a ...

    Instead of denying all responsibility as her father did, and treating the woman as just another number, Sheila becomes caring and compassionate, telling the inspector: 'It's a rotten shame,' and: 'it was a mean thing to do.' However, the major turnaround in this scene comes when Sheila says: 'these girls aren't cheap labour - they're people.'

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