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Discuss the role of Inspector Goole in the play 'An Inspector Calls'.

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Introduction

Azadhassan M Gulamali Twentieth Century Drama Coursework Essay Title: Discuss the role of Inspector Goole in the play 'An Inspector Calls'. In this essay I will be discussing the role of Inspector Goole in the play 'An Inspector Calls'. I will be commenting on the effect Inspector Goole has on the other characters around him. I will also be analysing dialogue to see how it helps to motivate the characters around him. I will also analyse and interpret the theme of the play. I will also look closely at how J B Priestley makes good use of historical context. Being set in 1912, 'An Inspector Calls' contains a lot of historical context and political views which were around at the time. J B Priestley has strong political views on social responsibility; which motivated him to write this play. He wanted to convey his beliefs and thoughts through a character, so he created Inspector Goole. J B Priestley was a socialist and believed everyone lives together and we all affect one another, he has used the Inspector to express his views. ...read more.

Middle

Arthur Birling is a very contrasting character, his beliefs are opposite of what Priestley's are. Arthur Birling believes in two things, high profits, low costs. He is full of pride and is a hard-headed snobbish man- who believes money is everything. His arrogance is seen clearly by the audience when he attempts to intimidate and frighten the inspector by telling him that Colonel Roberts 'is an old friend'. Inspector Goole's solidity remains- neither is he intimidated nor frightened of Birling. Priestley cleverly uses the inspector's dialogue to make the other characters puzzled. He uses the character's opinions and then throws it back in their face when their loved ones are involved. For example when Mrs Birling condemns the father of Eva's baby, 'he ought to be dealt with very severely'. The inspector uses their own comments to weaken them. When Mrs Birling realises that Eric is the father, she is 'distressed' and 'agitated'. This is a very good plot which Priestley has used- he manages to get a family to condemn each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

What does he mean? If Priestley was a religious man he may have indicated this as hell. At the end of the play we see a borderline of views between the generations; the older generation seem to be pleased that it was hoax- but how coincidental. The younger generation, Sheila and Eric, have learnt that they should be more socially responsible. The opinions of Mr and Mrs Birling towards socialists are very harsh, several times they are identified as 'socialist cranks'. At the end of the play we are aware that the inspector was not a real inspector. This leaves the audience to ponder on ideas of who he could be. He may have been someone sent by God, hence how he describes hell 'fire and blood and anguish'. Who was the inspector? Priestley makes this play effective by leaving a cliff hanger at the end of the play making the audience wonder who he was and where he came from. In conclusion the main role of the inspector was to be a catalyst, and to lead the story in the right direction. His other aim was to present Priestley's views and make the characters feel remorseful. ...read more.

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