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Discuss the role of the Inspector in J.B Priestley's An Inspector Calls.

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Introduction

Discuss the role of the Inspector in J.B Priestley's An Inspector Calls I am writing an essay on the role of the Inspector in "An Inspector Calls". I will look at how he appears on stage, how he affects the other characters and how he is used to influence the audience and to put out Priestley's views. At the rise of the curtain the Birlings are celebrating the engagement of Sheila to Gerald. It is a cosy and relaxed atmosphere, as well the scene is in a pristine state before the Inspector arrives and he changes the atmosphere. Mr Birling has worked his way to being rich and powerful. His wife, Mrs Birling grew up in a rich environment. Sheila is their daughter and they have a son called Eric. Also there is Gerald who is the son of the competing company to the Birlings. Birling wants to impress Gerald and the inspector with "I was an alderman for years - and Lord Mayor two years ago", but fails to impress the Inspector. ...read more.

Middle

It is important the characters realise their mistakes so that they can change their way of life before it is too late and before another war starts. The Inspector interrupts Birling and other characters lots of times, "cutting in, massively". The interruption by the Inspector shows the audience that he does not want to hear the excuses they have to say. He only wants to hear what he needs and he wants to get straight to the point, be in control and be powerful. Mr Birling does not like the Inspector being in control, as he wants to be in control of everyone himself because he is not used to other people taking charge. A sentence the Inspector says which describes Eva's death is "...she'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant. Burnt her insides out..." The Inspector describes Eva's injuries in such horrible detail to make her injuries seem worst than they are. Also it makes the characters feel guilty to try and make them confess what they have done. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of this is when Mr Birling argues with the Inspector and the Inspector replies with "It might be, you know". But he is kinder to Sheila and Eric as they are admitting to what they have done to Eva. As well they are willing to change for the better to the Inspector's point of view as they realise what they have done wrong. This also shows to the audience that the younger generations are more easily changed than the older generations. The Inspector talks harshly to Sheila when she says that if she could help she would, the Inspector angrily replies with "Yes, but you can't. It's too late. She's dead." The Inspector says "If you're easy with me, I'm easy with you". By this he means that he will treat them how they treat him. This is demonstrated when Mr Birling was angry and cross at the Inspector, the Inspector was mean and harsh to Mr Birling. Mr Birling says angrily "I really must protest -", the Inspector turning on him sharply replies with "Why should you do any protesting?" Helen Golding ...read more.

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