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The Identity Of The Inspector In 'An Inspector Calls' Is Not Important, It Is His Role As A Dramatic Device That Is Important.

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Introduction

The Identity Of The Inspector In 'An Inspector Calls' Is Not Important, It Is His Role As A Dramatic Device That Is Important. 'An Inspector Calls' begins with the Birlings and Gerald Croft celebrating when they are interrupted by a call from an Inspector. The Inspector tells them about a girl who has committed suicide earlier on that evening. In turn, he questions the Birlings and Gerald for playing a part in her death. After the Inspector leaves the Birlings find out he was not a real Inspector and receive a phone call about a young girl who has just died. The Inspector's identity is never found out in the play. I think Priestly has left his identity open because it is not his identity that matter but his views, which is what Priestly was trying to get across to the audience of that time. Priestley also never revealed the identity of the Inspector because it was his role as a dramatic device which was most important. The Inspectors role as a dramatic device consisted of three things: to create moments of dramatic tension, to present Priestley's central views and to move the story forward. Tension can be created from physical appearance, mystery and suspense. The Inspector uses all three of these to create tension. When he first enters the Birling's dining room, he creates tension from his physical appearance because he is described to create an 'impression of massiveness' and have a habit of 'looking hard at the person he is addressing before actually speaking'. ...read more.

Middle

The arrival of the Inspector though has a dramatic effect on the mood. He changes the mood to that of a guilty, unhappy and defensive household. The Inspector changes Mr Birling's mood from confident and laughing complacently to impatient - 'Yes, yes. Horrid business.....' and threatening - 'Perhaps I ought to warn you....' He also changes Gerald's to 'impatient' and makes Sheila 'distressed' and 'frightened'. The Inspector changes Mrs Birling's mood into a defensive one - 'I did nothing I'm ashamed of or that won't bear investigation', 'I've done nothing wrong and - you know it'. Eric's mood is said to be 'miserable' and 'unhappy'. If the Inspector had not arrived, the story would have been very dull. The atmosphere would have been happy and joyous with Mr Birling making speeches and telling Gerald of how he is sure to get a knighthood. The storyline would have been around the engagement, and there would be no surprise characters. It would have been set in the dining room and there would not have been a lot of action and no surprise characters. The Inspector's name in 'An Inspector Calls' is very ironic. Inspector sounds like 'spectre', and Goole sounds like 'ghoul'. Priestley here has used dramatic irony because we as an audience see that he is some spirit or ghost but the characters in the play do not realise until the end of the play that Inspector Goole may never have been a real inspector. ...read more.

Conclusion

You can see this because when he shows Sheila the photo and she becomes upset he professes that he does not know why she is upset and 'that's something he has to find out'. I think that the Inspector's identity is not important. I think it is his role as a dramatic device that is important. I think the Inspector's role as a dramatic device that engages the audience, moves the story forward and presents Priestley's views is what is most important and not his identity. I think Priestley calling the Inspector 'Goole' makes the Inspector sound like he is extraordinary because it makes his sound like a ghoul and it also makes the Inspector seem superior because he is not of this world. He may have also called him 'Goole' to create dramatic irony because the characters do not realise the strangeness of his name until the end of the play. I think Priestley has left his identity open because it has a larger impact on the audience because then there is an air of mystery of who this man was and it leaves the audience to decide for themselves who he was. I think if Priestley revealed the identity of the Inspector, the Inspector would not seem so important because he seems like a higher being and therefore his views are more respected then those of a 'normal inspector'. Sabina Begum Coursework: An Inspector Calls 1 ...read more.

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