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How important is the role of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls?

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How important is the role of the Inspector in "An Inspector Calls"? The audiences first impression of the Inspector is from the title itself, 'An Inspector Calls', which gives the idea; to the audience that the Inspector will play a vital role in the coming stages of the play however we soon learn J.B.Priestley's real motives and how he uses the Inspector as his mouthpiece to voice his real intentions to the wider society. J.B.Priestley's main point which is made clear is to take responsibility of your actions especially when they affect the lives of others and this message is made clearly by the Inspector. Priestley also makes it clear on how he feels about people higher on the social ladder and he constantly attacks middle class values because he hates people who have vast amounts of money and keep it to themselves. Act one begins with the four Birlings seated on the table with Gerald, the characters seem 'pleased with themselves'. The family are celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald, the atmosphere is quite relaxed, with Mr Birling looking rather pleased with himself. Mr Birling goes on to say, 'this is one of the happiest nights of my life' and seems rather smug, causing the audience to immediately dislike Mr Birling. ...read more.


when he asks for a drink, 'he needs a drink now just to see him through' with Mr Birling replying 'all right. Go on' this shows how the Inspector has complete control. One of the important functions of the play is for the Inspector to expose the hypocrisy of the middle class, who were in the early 20th century were quite noticeable and were seen as quite snobbish and not caring about anyone but themselves. The middle class are represented by Mr and Mrs Birling and Priestley deliberately makes them two look foolish, also Priestley sets the pair up making them looking even more stupid by using such examples about Mr Birling goes on about how the Titanic is unsinkable and how the Germans don't want war, obviously as readers we have the advantage of hindsight therefore we have the knowledge. This is how Priestley exposes their sheer stupidity and how Mrs Birling is so blinded, further examples are on how Mrs Birling won't believe that Alderman Meggarty is a womaniser just because he is supposed to be a respectable, and how she is deluded about Eva Smith just because she is 'a girl of that sorts' she has no morals. ...read more.


They're more impressionable.' This shows how both Sheila and Eric are willing to accept new ideas and to learn from their mistakes instead of just pretending they never happened. Both young Birlings accept and take responsibility for their actions as Sheila states "well, he inspected us all right and lets don't start dodging and pretending now. Between us we drove that girl to commit suicide" this demonstrating that Sheila has taken responsibility for her actions. Eric follows in the steps of Sheila by adding 'I don't see much nonsense about it when a girl goes and kills herself. You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely, but I can't', so both young Birlings admit they did something wrong and they take responsibility for it. The end of the play makes the audience think and so is quite though provoking, and the audience is made to believe that the Inspector being real doesn't change anything because private actions can and will have public consequences. Priestley has exposed the middle class hypocritical views of the early 20th century making us see how foolish they really were. The Inspector was the tool used by Priestley to get his views across to the audience that we all must take responsibility for are actions because what we do today can affect someone the next day or in years to come. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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