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The dramatic significance of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'

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Introduction

The dramatic significance of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' I wasn't too sure of where to start but one of Birling's many speeches seemed a good enough place, the dramatic significance of this speech from an audience' point of view was that we already knew through the process of time that the 'hard-headed, practical man of business' was actually talking a load of nonsense and that he was non the wiser to this because it was his direction of thought that unfortunately though as dramatic as it may be everyone had to listen to, '...and I say there isn't a chance of war. The world's developing so fast that it'll make war impossible...and then ships...-the Titanic- she sets sail next week...- and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable...let's say, in 1940 (hmmm wasn't there a war going on then?) you may be giving a party like this. ...& I tell you, you'll be living in a world that will have forgotten all of these Capital versus Labour agitations and these silly little war scares. There'll be peace and prosperity and rapid development everywhere.' I don't know whether Priestley has added these in for a bit of extra spice to the play or so that the audience can almost lose their trust, respect or possibly even both for Birling. The time of 1912 could most definitely be described as controversial, there was the big issue of class, people were expected to know their place in society and stick to it and moving from one section of the class system to another was frowned upon by those in power, Mr Birling along with many of the other factory owners believed that because he was of a higher class he could make the decisions for everyone under his power, and those decisions would so obviously be the right ones, (cough) ...read more.

Middle

He wants to make the Birlings and Gerald admit their guilt and feel genuine remorse for their part in Eva Smith's death. He succeeds with Eric & Sheila ' I behaved badly too. I know I did. I'm ashamed of it' 'the money's not important. It's what happened to the girl and what we did to her that matters' The others showed no remorse besides the young Birlings I think this is why the repetition of the Inspector calling occurs at the end, he's not really going to stop coming until they show that they are all genuinely sorry and have learned their lesson. Sheila talks in the play about their walls, I think another point of the play especially the 'Royal National Theatre Production's' that they had kept their walls up and that they should have just let them go, at the end of the play it is dramatically shown through the aid of the huge set that both f their walls literally crumble or break down with the falling of the Birling's house and their pride. This is another part of the play in which the audience can identify with him as well as their pity for the unseen Eva Smith, he does this by making her 'very pretty' and if this necessarily follows vulnerable too. People watching now have a sympathetic bond for Eva & a degree of hostility for the Birlings. The inspector carries on to make the Birlings feel worse & appear more heartless than they already are by saying 'I think it would do us all a bit of good if sometimes we tried to put ourselves in the place of these young women counting their pennies in their dingy back bedrooms.' ...read more.

Conclusion

three solid minutes of well earned glory and brings forth the crunch on whether the audience will approve on this longwinded heart to heart with the somewhat heroic inspector. For the dramatical effect needed for those who are seeing a free production of An Inspector Calls those same people that have felt that they could be contributing to some chores or helping out in another way Priestley grabs the attention by 'but just remember this. One Eva Smith has gone-' he then looks at the wider picture 'but there are millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us' Politicians such as Priestley should and did recognise that information is more clearly put out without boring the socks off someone but with the emphasis if it's said as a trio, Priestley has used the collections of three similar adjectives / words / scenarios to give the Inspector a little more depth / intelligence / emphasis on his very last but certainly not least speech. He groups together : 'their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering...what we think, say and do.' The arguably most important part of the very important speech is about the magical lines in which the Inspector entered the Birlings once happy occasion, quite contrary to what Birling was rambling on about... 'We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other' This exit shows the effect that one man had upon a 'valued' family that was the Birlings, he walks straight out, leaving them staring, subdued and wondering SHEILA is still quietly crying. MRS BIRLING has collapsed into a chair, ERIC is still brooding desperately, BIRLING, the only active one ...stops looks gloomily at the other three...' ...read more.

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