• 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'

    The inspector challenges the audience's attitude. He is a mouthpiece for J.B Preistley and has a strong moral voice, which stands out. He constantly rises above the Birlings. The inspector is so dramatic because of his method of investigation. He talks to each character about the death in tern.

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

    An Inspector Calls was first performed in the theatre in 1946 and the above things had already happened, so this makes the main characters of the play, the Birlings, look almost stupid with arrogance. An inspector Calls is a naturalistic play which is set in the dining room constantly through out the play.

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

    of a lower social class than ours, as they are human beings too, no matter what. The words "fire and blood and anguish" are like Biblical language, and also magic three, which help emphasise his point and make it more dramatic.

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

    This switching of power and purpose between Inspector Goole and Mr Birling upsets the overall equilibrium of the play. The contrast of reign is thus shown vividly, as the pretentious calm of Capitalist wealth is rapidly morphed into the blunt truth of socialism.

  1. Inspector calls essay discuss role of inspector

    views from each other, where in this case a inspector who believes in collective responsibility and equal rights and on the other hand a wealthy ex governor who believes in individuality where a man has to make his own way.

  2. In this assignment I'll discuss the social and the historical context of the J. ...

    Birling is an ignorant character; he blatantly ignores Inspector Goole when he tells him of the shameless and awful things that his family has done. He tries to undermine Inspector Goole's authority 'You're new, aren't you?' Birling goes on to later say 'I thought you must be.

  1. Describe and discuss the role of the Inspector In

    The play opens with a conversation between Mr Birling, his family and Gerald Croft. The family are sitting in their dining room celebrating the success of their daughter's engagement to the son of a businessman of higher status than the Birling family.

  2. Twentieth Century Drama - What is the role and function of the Inspector in ...

    He also is has the role of sending out moral views of social life, and is a type of warning teaching them not to be egotistic, and to think of how the rest of the society lives. The Inspector operates as a dramatic device through the dramatic structure of the

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