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Discuss the role of the Inspector in "An Inspector calls".

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Mark Cranshaw 10P English Coursework Discuss the role of the Inspector in "An Inspector calls" "An inspector calls" was written by J.B Priestly in 1945, it is set in the year 1912 but was first performed a year after it was written in 1946. Priestly cleverly devised his characters and has thought a lot about their reactions. The inspector serves many purposes and has a variety of roles in the play. Again, the play is set in 1912 so the characters are form the year 1912, there is a big difference between the way the characters act and think and the way the audience do. This adds to the dramatic irony because the people in the audience know a lot more about the characters futures than the characters themselves. This adds comedy and humour to the play. "An inspector calls" is written on two levels; firstly the play was written to entertain. This is the more basic level. The play is of the mystery genre. A major role of the inspector is to add intrigue and suspense to the play. The inspector is a tall eerie character; this makes the audience think that he is powerful and mysterious. Priestly says the inspector's character gives: "An impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness" His name "Inspector GOOLE" makes the audience think of ghoul- an eerie creature, which is related to the mystery genre. ...read more.


In the play the older generation seem to be unwilling and don't seem to care about people less fortunate. Birling is questioned first by the inspector. The inspector asks questions like; " I think you remember Eva Smith now, don't you Mr Birling?" These question Birling's conscience. After the inspector finishes questioning Birling he questions Sheila, Gerald, Eric and finally Sybil. By the end of the questioning most of the characters are moved in some way- apart from Birling who in particular does not change his stance. All of the characters have unanswered questions that they wish to ask the inspector. This adds more mystery to the play and emphasises the build up of tension. When the questioning has ended, the inspector has changed the way that Eric and Sheila think and see life. They are both upset and about what has happened and regret their part in the suicide very much. The inspector talks to the family very formally. He fixes them with his eye in a very disarming way before he speaks. This sparks suspicion in the family- mainly from Eric and Birling. Birling questions the inspector- this shows that he does not trust him. At this point the family are not sure if the inspector is a real inspector or not. Throughout the play the characters create dramatic irony without knowing they have. Priestly uses dramatic irony effectively. ...read more.


If anything I believe the inspector could have been the main cause of Eva's death. The reason for this is that he knew a lot about Eva and knew about the suicide death of a girl before it had taken place. I think that Eric and Sybil were most to blame for the death of Eva. Eric made Eva pregnant and failed to support her whilst Sybil refused to help her despite her condition and state. I think that Priestly was trying to make the inspector look like the murderer. The finale of the play really helps to add to the mystery genre. The socialist side breached the political battle. By the end of the play we know that Sheila and Eric are moved by the incident. When the inspector turns out to be a fake they realise that it does not matter, they know that if Eva was one or several people they still acted in a cruel way. Birling and Sybil think that it makes all the difference that the inspector was not real, they don't care about that actions and are just pleased to be "off the hook" and out of trouble. The fact is that it does not really matter if the inspector was real or not, if Eva was one or several people, or whether she died or not. The whole point is that Priestly was effective in making each character question themselves and their actions and their influence on others. No one is in Isolation - our actions all have bearing on other people in some way. ...read more.

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