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Discuss the role of the inspector in an An Inspector Calls.

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Introduction

Alex Welham 10T Discuss the role of the inspector in an An Inspector Calls All three acts, which are continuous, take place in the dinning room of the Birlings' house in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. Mr Birling his wife Mrs Birling and his son Eric are celebrating the engagement of his daughter Sheila and Gerald Croft. An Inspector calls round to question the family on the death a girl called Eva Smith who committed suicide by drinking strong disinfectant because she was very depressed. The author J.B.Priestley was born on September 13, 1894 Bradford, West Yorkshire and died August 14, 1984 Stratford-Upon-Avon. Priestly was educated at Cambridge University, and by the age of 30 had established a reputation as a humorous writer and critic. His first major success came with a novel, The Good Companions (1929), he became better known as a dramatist. Without doubt, his best known play is An Inspector Calls (1946). He fought in WW2 and this experience had a lasting effect on him. The play is set in 1912, only 2 years before the outbreak of WW1, and in the inspectors' final speech he seems to hint at the trouble to follow. ...read more.

Middle

But after she has been questioned her attitude changes completely the opposite she feels as though it was her fault entirely because she was the one who got Eva sacked from her second job at Milwards, which the inspector described as her biggest down. When the inspector has left the family talking about the events that have happened, Birling however still feels the same as he did at the beginning Sheila doesn't like this as you can see. "So nothing really happened. So there's been nothing to be sorry for, nothing to learn, we can all go on behaving just as we did." Sheila wants to change probably to relieve some of the guilt off her shoulders. Either she has taken in what's happened and trying to change the way she treats people or she is trying to shift some of the guilt onto the rest of her family so she doesn't feel so bad. Through out the whole story the audience have watched the characters development especially Sheila from feeling completely innocent to blaming herself for Eva s death and taking 100% of the guilt and responsibility. The inspector does not tell us everything himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the majority of people who have seen this play would have liked to think of themselves as an Eric or Sheila. J.B.Priestley's inspector is central to the play. This is because Priestley's aims are made clear by the inspector largely. As his interactions with the characters go, inspector Goole is mysterious. He has a way of making the characters confess to him, and to themselves, there role in Eva Smiths demise. He links the separate accounts together to form an approximate biography of Eva Smith from when she left the employment of Mr Birling up until she commits suicide. Inspector Goole has another use though - he acts as a social conscience of sorts. He acts as the voice of Priestley in the play, or the voice of Priestley's socialist views. "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." He points out that "we have to share something. If nothing else, we'll have to share our guilt, and that "Public men Mr Birling, have responsibilities as well as privileges" to which Arthur Birling replies "you weren't asked here to talk to me about my responsibilities." Contrary to what Arthur Birling believes, it is a very likely that the inspector was sent to the Birlings to teach them about responsibilities. ...read more.

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