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

Essay on 'An Inspector Calls' - Discuss the Representation of the Inspector.

Extracts from this document...


Essay on 'An Inspector Calls' Discuss the Representation of the Inspector In the play 'An Inspector Calls' the Inspector is one of the main characters. He is the one who brings to light exactly what the Birlings have done. We first meet him just after the beginning of Act 1, after Arthur Birling has made his big speeches on war, politics and money. When Inspector Goole, as he is called, enters he is described as 'not a big man, but he creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness'. He is described as being in his fifties, 'dressed in a plain darkish suit of the period'. We are told that he speaks 'carefully, weightily and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking'. When he enters, the light changes from a nice, warm pink to a bright white, implying he is going to shed light on what they have done. He has also made it a more interrogational atmosphere. His name, Inspector Goole, suggests that he might be a ghost. He could be the ghost of Eva Smith's dead child, or he could be a ghost from the future, from 1945 when the play was written. This is shown in the modern interpretation of the play, which is currently being shown in London. In this the Inspector arrives through the audience, suggesting he is on their side. More importantly he is wearing a Trenchcoat and carrying a Cardboard Suitcase, a 'Demob' outfit, which soldiers who left the army after World War II were given. This suggests he is a time traveller as he starts in the year 2000 by going through the audience and he enters 1912 by going up onto the stage where the Birlings are, but he is from 1945 because of his clothing. This all, however, is pretentious as we are never told who the Inspector really is, where he comes from, and why he's there. There are lots of theories. ...read more.


Someone had to pay the price for the rich being so greedy and this was the Working Class. During the Victorian and Edwardian Eras, the Working Class were continuously exploited for the benefit of the Upper Class. The Working Class, the "millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths" had to work in extremely poor conditions, often for over ten hours a day, non-stop with only half an hour break for lunch. For this they only got paid a pittance, on average twenty-two shillings and sixpence. As Birling put it they were more concerned in keeping "labour costs low, and production levels high". The pittance the workers were paid could be reduced even more because if the workers did not keep to strict and sometimes unnecessary rules, they would be fined. These fines ranged from one penny, which is a 1/2 penny now, for making noise, to one shilling that is five pence today, for using bad language. The list was endless. In addition to this there was no National Health Service, no Workers Rights and no Welfare State . This was something Priestley strongly disagreed with as he was a strong socialist and he wrote the play as a warning to people in 1945 and after not to ever consider going back to the way things were in 1912. Goole has strong intentions to find out what part each character has had to play in Eva's downfall. However, he has not exactly set out to administer blame and to work out who is the guiltiest. It is more probable that he has set out to make each character realise the error of their ways and to try to make them change. He does realise that he will have more effect on the younger element of the family, and he says "we often find that with the younger ones". This is said after he has caused Sheila to run out, and has seen that she will change her ways Goole has tried many ways to force the family to change. ...read more.


Sheila and Eric would side with him, going against their parents. I would, however, have Gerald starting to see what he has done wrong, but then refusing to realise what he has done and refusing to change and reverting back to the way he was. Then, why should Gerald change when he has prospered in the Edwardian Era? Why should he risk all that by changing? Eric would also be a bit harder for the Inspector to crack at the start. This would add more variety to the play, because now it is Sybil who is the only one he has trouble with and the play follows a sort of repetitive chain, where a character is given the facts, they first refuse to see what they have done, then the Inspector wins them over. If there were more variety, it would make the play more interesting for the audience. The play is a 'well made play' - it flows quickly in 'real time'; it takes the time it would to complete a family interrogation in the real world, to complete it in the play; from beginning to middle to end, with no flashbacks or skipping of parts. It can also be referred to as a 'Medieval Morality Play' where a character represents one or more of the 'Seven Deadly Sins'. Sheila represents Jealously, Eric represents Lust and Sloth, Sybil represents Pride, Arthur represents Greed and Anger, and Gerald represents Lust and Greed. I think the play would have passed the message across to the audience watching it, the message being never to return to the days of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras. However, I feel that the people who really needed to watch the play so they got the message never to return to 1912 would be the rich who went away to Canada during the war. They will still try to uphold their old, antiquated values of the class system and live as they have before, and will not go and see the play because it was written by a "socialist crank" as Arthur Birling put it. Glen Tooke 1 ...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. How Far Does "An Inspector Calls" Fit Into the Genre of Detective Fiction?

    He gets a response, which says that there is no Inspector Goole: "There's no Inspector Goole on the police". In detective fiction, there is an inspector or detective. The audience now realise that "An Inspector Calls" is not detective fiction after all, because no arrest has been made and there is no inspector or detective.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' - how does Priestly resent the character of Goole? If ...

    Gerald helps Eva/Daisy out however his intensions go astray as he found her attractive from the start and allowed his feelings to develop, he felt affection for Eva/Daisy but admits that her feelings for him were much stronger than his feelings were for her.

  1. An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley is a play about an inspector who tries ...

    play to feel guilty about what they have done to Eva smith/Daisy Renton by telling them to 'share the guilt' of making Eva Smith's life miserable. The inspector attributes the guilt of killing Eva Smith onto the characters by using the inclusive personal pronoun in the plural form term 'we'-

  2. Eva Smith's Diary

    18/April/1911 Gerald comes every day. I like him so. He's one man who doesn't care if I'm lower or upper class - he still cares. We've been closer than usual. He said he wasn't the owner of Croft's limited but his father was but I wasn't planning on asking him if he could get me a job there.

  1. The Speckled Band Essay

    thought the gypsies were to blame for the "low whistle" in the dead of night and also because of the fact they were bandanas. These are used to keep the reader involved and also help to create unexpected events later on.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' Essay (Play)

    Your father and I have been friendly rivals in business for some time now ... you've brought us together". This interesting concept indicates that although Sheila and Gerald may appear to be in love to those not close to them, Mr.

  1. "Inspector Calls" is about the discriminations between different classes and sexes.

    He should have a quiet unassertive voice with a slight lisp to emphasise his reserved personality. In my production I would have Mrs. Birling as a fierce, very conservative lady of around fifty-five she should be slightly smug with her and her family's accomplishments and be a big influence in the family's decisions.

  2. an ispector calls essay

    Any feelings of remorse from Gerald have gone. When he went for a walk, instead of thinking thinks through like we suspected him of doing, he had been asking a police officer about the Inspector. When he realises that a girl may not have committed suicide and they're may not just be the one girl he thinks that

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