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inspector calls

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Introduction

What is the role of the Inspector in an Inspector calls "An Inspector calls" is a play by J.B. Priestley, written in 1945 and first performed in 1946. It is set in the spring of 1912; a significant period of history two weeks before the titanic made her maiden voyage (and last) and two years before World War one began. During this period, social divisions were much wider than in the post war era and women had little work rights. Priestley's political and social beliefs were implicated into "An Inspector calls" as it is a morality play which tries to teach us of our responsibility for each other. One of the more major characters in this play is the Inspector as he affects every other character in the play in some way and in this essay, I will be examining all of the roles of the Inspector, how he carries them out and what he represents. At face value, "An Inspector calls" seems to be a detective thriller and the Inspectors role; to interrogate the Birlings. He does more than this. He tries to make the other characters feel remorse and empathy for what they have all done to Eva Smith and eventually accept responsibility for the action and then later on, voice his opinions of socialism and responsibility. After the Inspector questions to Sheila, "And was it the girls fault?" ...read more.

Middle

I think that this is one of the Inspectors essential support roles that maintain the aim of Priestley. He even shows enormous power in his roles within the storyline and to ensure his control over the Birlings and the flow of the plot. He has great amounts of authority and is able to "massively take charge" especially during the family quarrels and attempts at obstructing the Inspector. He dominates the Birlings though he remains calm for most of the situation described as speaking "coolly," "gravely" and "severely" and "with calm authority"; in emotional control; "Imperturbable". These stage directions reiterate his power over the Birlings as he does not have to go to great extents to control them with anger. He is also very manipulative and is able to trap the Birlings in their own blame by using their desire to elude blame against them. Mrs He manipulates Mrs Birling by allowing and encouraging her to condemn and put blame on the father with rhetoric, "No hushing up, eh?" and "public confession of responsibility - um?". The Inspector replies "certainly I consider it your duty" before unveiling Eric as the baby's father. By being related to the father she is ridiculing and condemning herself and her own family and has trapped her self in her own blame and trigger emotion from her; guilt and remorse for being partly responsible for the death of her own grandchild. ...read more.

Conclusion

Priestley wants us to realise that we must be responsible for each other and live together as "members of one body". To reveal this he uses rhetoric devices such as rule of three, repetition and emotive verbs aswell as techniques such as manipulation both of the plot, characters and the emotions of the audience. What Priestley was trying to convey to us (responsibility and socialism) was serious to him and even teaches that if we do not learn then we will be taught in "fire and blood and anguish"; a hint at the coming events in World War one and two, taking advantage of dramatic irony; the world was not as the Birlings thought in the beginning as so many of their predictions were wrong about prosperity. It went in the opposite direction toward chaos and so could we be in a false sense of security also? I think that the Inspectors central roles of passing on the message of responsibility by control of the plot and characters with manipulation and language was very effective especially when looking more closely at it as more than just a story, as it affected me somewhat and so how many others could It also affect or already have imprinted the message of responsibility in society on? The reoccurring phone call from the infirmary may also teach us a lesson; if this irresponsibility keeps going on then maybe the chaos and trauma caused from it may keep reoccurring in a vicious cycle beginning with another "death of Eva Smith". ...read more.

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