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

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An Inspector Calls. Examine the role of the Inspector in J.B Priestley's play 'An Inspector Calls' The four Birlings and Gerald are happily seated around the dinner table having an enjoyable night celebrating Sheila and Gerald's engagement. All of them are feeling happy and are comfortable and relaxed and do not seem to have a care in the world but all of that is about to change. The scene is set in 1912, which is a pre war time. Also this is the time when the suffragettes were fighting for women's rights. Additionally this was the time that the Titanic was built. The unsinkable ship, which ironically sank, would set sail in a week's time. The life that the Birlings live is very nice and easy but Priestley is showing how most great things always end in disaster like the evening they are having. This is also ironic as he starts by telling us how the Titanic was unsinkable and it ended and just like he will go on to tell us how the Birling's lives are good at the moment but this will soon come to an end. The story does have some relevance to the early nineties even if the play was written in 1945. ...read more.


This is Gerald's view of how the inspector works and how it makes him a fraud. The inspector also tells us how and why he works. 'It's the way I like to work. One person and one line of inquiry at a time. Otherwise, there's a muddle.' This shows us how the Inspector explains how he works and why. This sounds like the real way an inspector should work which misleads us at the beginning of the play and makes us think he really is an inspector. This makes the story effective and dramatic because it all leads to a huge twist at the end when we find out the inspector does not really exist and there is no dead girl called Eva Smith however there is another twist at the end when they really do find out an Eva Smith had really died and an inspector is on his way over. This makes the story more interesting and more dramatic and it adds more suspense to the play. The inspector is used in the story as someone who is supposed to be like J.B Priestley. He is like a substitute for J.B Priestly and they are linked as the inspector is being used to put across his messages. ...read more.


The Inspector has many hidden messages in him. He plays so many different roles and the he himself makes the whole story. He makes you think and puts across the messages, which to me is the point of the book. He is very effective and adds a great deal of drama In this Play the inspector seems to be playing various roles. He seems as though he is playing a socialist as he is against capitalist views and because he is not just looking out for himself but others as well. Also he is known to be a catalyst as he brings a split in the Birling family. He plays a ghost as we find out he is not real. Additionally he plays a fraud because he is not a real inspector, but he does act as an Inspector. The inspector adds a great deal of tension and drama to the play. Priestley does this because he brings tension between the younger generation consisting of Sheila and Eric and the older generation consisting of Gerald, Mrs Birling and Birling because of the inspector. Priestley uses the inspector as a substitute of him self to put his socialist points across this adds drama because we have to think about what he is trying to do. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - Claire Martin 11C Ms Dunne-English Coursework An Inspector Calls ...read more.

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