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

How Does Priestly Present the Character of Mr.Goole in An Inspector Calls?

Extracts from this document...


How Does Priestley Present the Character of Inspector Goole? *Inspector Goole id the main character in the play An Inspector Calls which was written by J.B. Priestley in 1945 (after the two world wars) however was set in 1912 (just before the first war) a time when politics and the economy were just starting to re-establish themselves .It can be interpreted in many ways: one of which is as a murder mystery, however I feel there is much more to the plot than "who dun it" there is an awful lot of underlying political messages and promotion of the socialist outlook on economy and morals and negative portrayal of capitalism. This is produced by the juxtaposed opinions and ideologies of the Birlings (a capitalist family who, at first seem to be purely egotistical) and the inspector (a socialist man who comes to demonstrate to the Birlings how selfish they have been, and their negative effect on the world around them). * Inspector Goole enters the play about ten pages in. He casts a shadow over the Birlings sunny celebration, and immediately taints the image of perfection that priestly has previously bestowed upon the Birlings. Wearing a "plain darkish suit", being of a neutral age and having no outstanding features or characteristics, he is at first presented as a blank canvas, onto which Priestly can paint any picture and bestow any qualities. ...read more.


Although their first instinct is to fear this atypical man, whose philosophy and teachings completely contradicted all they had ever been taught and revealed the cracks in not just their father's opinions but the basis and foundation that their family is built on. To be afraid of the only man who had outwardly ignored her father's political banter and seemed to know too much to be normal: "I hate to think how much he knows that we don't know yet. You'll see. You'll see." Shelia's reptilian of "you'll see" indicates a deep foreboding, and also highlights Shelia's acute analysis of the situation in hand. Shelia is able to interpret more than her father and mother, she can tell that this man knows more than any of them could ever imagine, however has Sheila has not yet developed the confidence to outwardly say this. By the end of act two both Eric and Shelia's eyes have been opened to the inspector's socialist message. They have come accustom to his unusual manner and are no longer uncomfortable with the fact that the inspector does not seem to respect their father in the way of most. They (Shelia especially) have started to empathise with those of other classes and, with the inspector's encouragement, have realised that being of a different class does not mean you can't feel: "don't you understand? And if I could help her now I would." ...read more.


Priestly intentionally does not give you any information of background about the inspector; you are left to make your own uncertain presumptions, and results in you continually questioning: exactly who he is. When he first enters the play, the use of brief, short to the point sentences mean that the audience is given no clue to who he is. "You're new aren't you?" Mr. Birling. "Only recently transferred." The Inspector. This empty reply gives no detail in fact it hardly provides sufficient information to be a legitimate response. Where in the case of most characters Priestley would have used this question as an opportunity to reveal and explain a little more about the character; in the case of the inspector he uncovers nothing. This pattern stays constant throughout the play. Moments where questions about the inspector may arise are avoided; if unavoidable the reply is as concise and vague as possible. The inspector may have been exposed as a fake; however this does not change the phenomenal, if not temporary effect he had on the Birlings (and Eric). He is used as a moral inspector. "He was our police inspector alright." Eric. Eric is referring to the effect the inspector had on the atmosphere in Birling household and the disturbance he caused in what was a happily shallow and ignorant socialist family. He is contrasting political ideology that questions all that the Birling stood for. The character of the inspector is used to conger doubt of the Birlings ideal of perfection in the minds of the younger generation and the audience. ...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. 'An Inspector Calls' - how does Priestly resent the character of Goole? If ...

    When the inspector leaves she takes over the role of him by giving the family a lecture on how they should treat people no matter what class they are.

  2. How does Preistley present the character of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    This is shown when he says, "...No. She wanted to end her life. She felt she couldn't go on any longer." This sentence length shows how sharp he sounds and also the frankness of his tone. He does not attempt to make the situation any better for the Birling family

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Inspector Goole and Mr Birling in Act One. ...

    The Inspector looks somewhat superior to Mr Birling. Mr Birling hates this as he demands social status because of how rich he is. He tries very hard to gain social superiority but lacks refinement. "Tell the cook for me" It is bad manners to comment on the food at your

  2. Examine the dramatic impact of the inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' with reference to ...

    The Inspector is extremely confident when speaking. This conveys to the audience that he is more powerful than the other people in the house. Furthermore it makes him seem strange and suspicious to the audience. This is because he seems to know everything the family is going to say before they say it.

  1. An Inspector Calls - How does Mr. Birling's Philosophy Affect the Other Characters?

    What she did was look after herself and her own, this is what Birling's philosophy is, so why does he not commend her boldness? Is he merely telling us this moral to look like a big fish or is he just a plain hypocrite?

  2. An Inspector calls - character analysis.

    and the Great Depression within a generation 'There isn't a chance of war' World war within two years, with a second to follow within the same lifetime 'In 1940...you'll be living in a world that'll have forgotten all these Capital versus Labour agitations' The General Strike (1926)

  1. An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley - To what extent is each character responsible ...

    Sheila gets Eva fired, this is her last job before she died. She is not as responsible as some of the other characters as she accepts what she has done. In the clothes shop, Sheila tries on a dress; Eva Smith starts talking to another girl and giggles.

  2. 'How does Priestly present the character of the Inspector?'

    Mr Birling believes that through his experience he knows that there will be no war and as he claims the Titanic is unsinkable the audience can easily understand his foolishness. This is just the start of his message, do not be as foolish as to think just because England has

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