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inspector calls- what is the function of the inspector

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What is the function of the Inspector in the play? The play 'An Inspector Calls' was first written in 1947. It was written by JB Priestly and is set in the spring of 1912. The play is based in the Dining room of the Birlings' house in Brumley. Brumley is an industrial city in the North Midlands. The plot behind the play is that the Birlings are holding a party to celebrate Sheila Birling's engagement to Gerald Croft. Sheila Birling is the daughter of a prosperous manufacturer. Just after finishing their meal of Inspector Goole enters and demands answers about the suicide of a young working class women. The inspector is an enigmatic figure. He neither changes nor develops, but frequently repeats 'I haven't much time'. This is said as if he is working to a pre-arranged schedule. After serious interrogation from the inspector the audience become aware that every member of the family has a secret that has linked them in some way to the young women's death. The play is a moralistic play as it makes the audience think about the actions of the characters. ...read more.


The Inspector alone is certain of his facts; these facts are however questioned by the other cast, yet only after he has left. The Inspectors final speech sums the whole play up by saying, "there are millions and millions of Eva Smith's and John Smiths all 'intertwined with our lives' and that because we do not live alone we are responsible for each other". After this there is the dramatic exit from the dining room by the inspector leaves the characters and audience to reflect on that night's events. In his final speech there is a biblical tone. This is evident when he warns them about "fire, and blood and anguish" this could also be a direct reference to the 1st and second World War. The inspector's prophecy was intended to do this by Priestly, I believe, to remind audiences of the necessities of being responsible for one another. Inspector Goole's name is an obvious pun on Ghoul, a sprit or ghost. He could be seen as some kind of sprit, sent on behalf of the dead girl to get her own back on the characters. It seems that Priestly did not want to have one simple explanation to the audience on who the inspector really is. ...read more.


He could also be thinking that he still loved her but wished he had never made her pregnant. Had this happened he is thinking, the young girl could and probably would have still been alive that evening. At the end of the performance the family's only hope is provided in the fact that the Inspector Goole may not actually be an inspector. Personally I feel that the family think a huge weight has been cast off their shoulders. Until that is Mr Birling gets a phone call telling them that an inspector is coming round to ask them some questions. This is the end of the performance and creates tension for all the family and audience. In conclusion I believe that the play 'An Inspector Calls' that it works extremely well on both a realistic level and also a symbolic level. I feel that the Inspector gave the family a huge favour that night by going and preparing them for the real inspector. Also it made the family have a good look at each other and I feel the Mr Birling finally realised that his life wasn't as rosy as he felt it was. I also believe that the Inspector displayed the moral and social message to the audience perfectly. I believe this was best shown during his final speech. Jamie Wilson 10MC ...read more.

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