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How does J.B Priestley use Inspector Goole to dramatise what he wants to say in 'An Inspector Calls'.

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Introduction

How does J.B Priestley use Inspector Goole to dramatise what he wants to say in 'An Inspector Calls'. 'An Inspector Calls', J.B Priestley's pioneering exploration of the attitudes of upper-middle class families in 1912, was based on a battle between the socialist and capitalist systems. Inspector Goole, was the socialist, and the Birlings were capitalist (the believing that personal enterprise is the correct path to a steady social system). Inspector Goole was used by Priestley to convey his socialist opinions to the audience (the belief that enterprise should be owned by the community). Arthur Birling is an obvious capitalist because he comments cynically, '...you'd think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up together like bees in a hive.' In 1912, the First World War was two years away, the cruise liner, 'Titanic', sank in the Atlantic ocean, the Suffragette movement was demanding the right to universal suffrage, and the British class system was in full force during this period. ...read more.

Middle

This makes him at once seem almost clairvoyant, or that he has already seen it all happen. As we think through this suggestion, we may notice his name, Goole. Could the Inspector be a Ghost or Ghoul? As I said earlier on, Priestley uses the Inspector to voice his own socialist opinions of society, so could he be J.B Priestley speaking from 1944, the year the play was written? At the conclusion of Act 2, the Inspector holds up his hand for silence, and right after he has done this the family hear the front door, and Eric enters. 'The Inspector holds up his hand. We hear the front door. We wait looking towards the door. Eric enters looking extremely pale and distressed. He meets their inquiring stares.' Mr. Birling backs up this proposal by saying things like, 'The Germans don't want war...' and '...the Titanic, unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable.' This is known as dramatic irony, because the audience knows what really happens. ...read more.

Conclusion

In society as it was in 1912, a mere police inspector would be expected to defer to people such as the Birlings - perhaps even to ignore any involvement they might have. Mrs. Birling says 'Didn't I tell you? Didn't I say I couldn't imagine a real police inspector talking like that to us?' The Inspector moves the play along by asking the Birlings progressively probing questions. He also creates tension in the plot. The stage directions state, 'He speaks carefully, weightily, and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking.' He seems to do this when he says, slowly, 'Are you sure you don't know?' Then he stares at Gerald, then Eric, then Sheila. This hints that the Inspector already knows how they have contributed to Eva Smith's suicide In conclusion, it is my belief that J.B Priestley uses the Inspector to convey his socialist opinions to the people of Britain, and that 'An Inspector calls' was an alternative way of speaking to them to his wartime radio broadcasts. Peter Constantine ...read more.

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