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

Discuss the role of the inspector, in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls - 20th Century Drama Assignment Discuss the role of the inspector, in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. Explain the possible interpretations of him and reactions to him which you think an audience of the time would have had. Explain how today's audience would view him and give a personal response to him and his part in the play. An Inspector Calls, is a play which entails a wealthy, upper class family called the Birlings uncover a story in which their selfish actions which has a detrimental effect on the lives of others. The play includes an anonymous inspector whose actual role never becomes clear, throughout the play. The inspector's true identity is never revealed during the play, which gives this play an extra edge when compared with others. Although his full role is never revealed, some knowledge and understanding can be built up on the miscellaneous character, through his words and actions. Many different ideas could be presented on the specific use and role of the character. ...read more.

Middle

Again, the man may have been a business enemy who murdered Eva Smith on purpose and has arrived to undermine the Birlings. The character may have been a friend of the girl, and has now arrived to uncover her exact fate, and the reasons behind her death. He may want to make the Birlings deeply suffer for their actions toward her and for their selfish abuse of her. There is always a possibility that "inspector Goole" is not a real man at all, he may be a supernatural being. He maybe the ghost of Eva Smith and is performing a pre-haunting of some kind. He maybe a messenger from God, sent to teach the Birlings how to behave and to eliminate their arrogant and self-centred behaviour. He may act as the spirit of natural justice, a collective hallucination or possibly a symbol of the Birlings' guilty conscience. Throughout the play the inspector is used almost as a structural device. The storyline is released via this character in a somewhat orderly and simple paced manner; therefore the audience can understand the play more easily. ...read more.

Conclusion

At points during the play, the main character is discredited on stage; this works well as it breaks the play up more and makes the play less one sided. The audience of the time would have had an immense reaction to this and loved the play for many reasons. The play was written by J.B. Priestley in 1945, however the play was set in 1912 therefore it includes some ironic hindsight, shared by the audience on past happenings. For example this is a reference to the famous liner, the Titanic which sunk on its maiden voyage. To accentuate the fact that Mr. Birling does not know everything, like he thinks he does, he stresses in the play that the Titanic is unsinkable, however both the writer and the audience know this is not the case, as it sunk over thirty years ago. He also makes a remark that a Second World War would be impossible and by 1945, the audience know this is definitely not true, with the Second World War ending the very same year. Mr. Birling mentions that he believes by 1940 they will be peace everywhere across the world, again the audience would know this is not the case. ...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. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    This reveals a number of unpleasant aspects of his character, and how he doesn't care about he girl, but about himself. He thinks that his knighthood is at risk and that if the Inspector was a fake then no-one would find out about his foolish and insensitive behaviour.

  2. What message do you think that Priestley is trying to give in 'An Inspector ...

    The rest of the stage is bathed in a cool murky blue; I believe that this will show as depressing and symbolise that the Inspector has beaten the characters. The role of the character in this is to make them aware that justice has beaten them, and has shown everyone what the upper-class are really like.

  1. In 'An Inspector Calls', the author, J.B. Priestley chose to set the play in ...

    attitudes, looking down, at the lower classes', as if they weren't even human. She realises the obvious line between the classes: "I don't suppose for a moment we can understand why the girl committed suicide. Girls of that class"(p30) taking advantage of this in her argument.

  2. An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley

    He believes that because he is a very wealthy and successful businessman that he has to be correct. The play has just started and the audience are already starting to see the arrogance of Mr Birling. Mr Birling doesn't chance his views or attitude throughout the course of the play.

  1. Inspector calls essay discuss role of inspector

    girl's suicide This prepares us for someone who is selfish and does not accept any responsibility of the girl's death nor regretting his actions. It is obvious enough to the audience that Priestley represents both characters to have the opposite views from each other this creates conflict over the different

  2. Priestley's motives behind 'An Inspector Calls'.

    Also he wanted to get across that if people hadn't been so arrogant maybe the war wouldn't of broke out or maybe the Titanic wouldn't have sank. These were issues brought up in the play as part of a careless conversation.

  1. "An Inspector Calls", by J.B Priestley - review

    -Many people view Inspector Goole as a representative for political and moral value, but overall, he is just a mere dramatic device, used for the purpose of delivering Priestley's opinion across to the audience, in the context of a domestic backdrop.

  2. The criminal play J.B. Priestley´s "An Inspector Calls".

    This can be recognised in his statements either about the political developments preceding the first World War, as he claims that >... The Germans don�t want war ..*1< and that Russia >... will always be behindhand ... *2<, or in his opinion about the Titanic as an absolutely unsinkable ship.

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