• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Inspector is 'an embodiment of a collective conscience'. Explore the role of the Inspector in the play, The Inspector calls. With close reference to the play, discuss how the role should be performed.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Literature Coursework: An Inspector Calls Title: The Inspector is 'an embodiment of a collective conscience'. Explore the role of the Inspector in the play. With close reference to the play, discuss how the role should be performed. This play was a vehicle for JB Priestly to put across his socialist ideas to the public. In 1946, when the play was first performed, socialism was considered a very modern body of thought. Today, it is less controversial, and better known, but the play is still relevant, as it seems that the socialist ideas Priestly fought for are fading out, with greater links between the public and the private sector, and we are going back to the capitalist ways of thinking. If the Inspector is an 'Embodiment of a collective conscience' and the personification of Socialist ideals, Birling is the direct opposite. He is quintessence of capitalism, which, Priestly shows us, promote and rationalise human exploitation and misery. While capitalist values dictate that it's every man for himself, the socialist vision holds that we are all collectively responsible for each other and our society. ...read more.

Middle

On the one hand he seems to be moved and saddened by the news of his ex-girlfriend, and somewhat remorseful about dumping her. However, at the end of the play he has returned to his old complacency and detachment, choosing to ignore the Inspector's lesson and learn nothing from the incident. He tries to discredit the whole episode by pointing to the fact that Goole was not actually on the police force-'Everything's all right now, Sheila' After the Inspector has finished questioning Mr Birling, he moves on to Sheila, whom got Eva Smith sacked from her job at Milwards, while in a bad mood when she thought she was laughing at her. When she discovers the consequences of what she has done, she is overwhelmed with guilt, and no one can convince her it was not her fault. Before this, during the interrogation of her father, she seems taken aback when she finds that Mr Birling sacked the girl for wanting a decent wage, telling him 'they're not cheap labour-they're people' The Inspector has most effect on Sheila, who takes on his socialist ideology, and becomes almost an advocate for him, telling her mother they've 'no excuse for putting on airs', after Mrs Birling pretends that she does not recognise the girl in the photo. ...read more.

Conclusion

Usually, we would not know the spelling of the Inspectors name, because in a theatrical context, words are only heard, seldom spelt. In this case, however, Mr. Birling asks the Inspector to spell his surname, perhaps because he is in need of reassurance. If he is adequately reassured, then so is the audience. The Inspector is described in the detailed stage directions, as 'in his fifties, wearing clothes of the period'. I imagine the Inspector to be dressed in plain dark clothes. Of the time, so he does not look out of place, and his make-up, too, should be plain and simple. His appearance should not take away from his message, and should be eaily forgettable. This should impress further upon the audience the question 'Who was he? Did he exist?'. The Inspector is the focal character in the play, and is crucial to it, because without him the other characters would not have an opportunity to be seen. While the Inspector is important in what he says and does in relation to the other Characters, it is the other characters response to him which makes the play interesting and stresses Priestly's socialist ideals. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    that he could have showed each of them all different pictures let alone the real Eva Smith. They all may have seen different photos. He then goes on to say that there was no evidence to prove that there really was a young girl called Eva Smith that had died.

  2. How does J.B Priestly explore the issues of social responsibility on 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Eric and Gerald both got involved with her emotionally and Eric left her pregnant whilst Gerald left her heartbroken. Mrs Birling, at the height of social responsibility, leaves her without a home, support, or any from of income, therefore by now she has no one to turn to and in her own opinion no other options but suicide.

  1. An Inspector Calls coursework

    The curtain falling at this point enhances the atmosphere to be excruciating. This device used has an effect on the audience as it keeps them entertained and watching with interest to know what will happen later on. Overall, the play contains a variety of dramatic devices.

  2. An Inspector Calls. Explore the social and political views of the Birlings and the ...

    He says, The Titanic ship is" Absolutely unsinkable." But the audience already know the titanic will sink on its voyage from Southampton to New York across the Atlantic Ocean. Also when Birling thinks, "there isn't a chance of war" here Priestley makes the audience think that Birling is a very foolish person.

  1. "How far is the Inspector an 'embodiment of a collective conscience' (Gareth Lloyd Evans)?" ...

    The Inspector is described as creating 'an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness... and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking'. This makes the Inspector stand out as a very important person, with great authority, and makes the characters feel uneasy.

  2. The Inspector is ‘an embodiment of a collective conscience’. How real is the character ...

    After reading the play it was pretty obvious that the Inspector is not what he seems at all. A real police inspector would probably treat someone like the Birlings with more respect. The Inspector's mission in life doesn't evolve around government justice, but more importantly he's more interested in people's morals and how they can become better people (Page56)

  1. An Inspector Calls. The play has many dramatic moments, explore these in relation ...

    concept of responsibility and in addition he fails to admit his own wrongdoing and treats the whole interrogation as a joke. Mr Birling laughs at Sheila's and Eric's reactions to the news that according to their father all they went through was nothing more than a joke.

  2. J.B. Priestly was a playwright concerned with the ideas of capitalism, socialism, individual and ...

    business and Gerald Croft's business in a offer Mr Birling mentions the quote above, the same speech. 'Though Croft limited are both older and bigger than Birling and company - and now you've brought us together.' This maybe what Mr Birling really is after showing a little bit about his

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work