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

The Inspector - Man or Metaphor

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Beth Ridley The Inspector - Man or Metaphor "An Inspector calls" was set in 1917, a time of contentment prior to World War 1. This smugness is reflected in the Birling family but is soon disturbed by the inspector. We realise this character is far more than an ordinary policeman from the very beginning. The audience recognises this because of his abrupt arrival, his name (Goole) and the way his behaviour changes the mood of the party. At the beginning of the play in the stage directions it says "the lighting should be pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder." This is changing the atmosphere. Priestley says that he has a "disconcerting habit" of looking at people, making it obvious that Priestley intended the inspector to be seen as sinister. The Birlings feel that they have only the need to bother with themselves and not care about anyone else this Priestley underlines with the "sharp" sound of a doorbell. At this point the family is having a party to celebrate the engagement of Gerald and Sheila. Birling sees this narrow minded, as a business arrangement. ...read more.

Middle

He seems more interested in making an impression on the family then what will happen to them next. In a real situation wouldn't the police officer tell the Birling's what is to occur ahead? When Inspector Goole says, "Some things are left to me, inquiries of this sort for instance." It can be interpreted that the Inspector has categorised the inspection already. He has anticipated everything about it. Also, he commented that he "wouldn't know where to draw the line" between "respectable citizens" and criminals. What does he know already? The Inspector may be able to see into the future. This might be a reason why the Inspector could be other than human. In books and stories children and animals are meant to be the ones who realize when something isn't quite right or is supernatural. Sheila, despite being a young woman has been treated like a little girl. Mr and Mrs Birling try to protect her from the outside world but she is about to get married and being narrow minded they seem to not grasp that she is no longer a child. Sheila is the only person who feels something strange about the Inspector. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the main puzzling things about Inspector Goole was his foreknowledge of Eva's death. His ability to see into the future and intimate knowledge of Smith's life (despite he never spoke to her,) was defiantly not human. Although he does claim to have seen "a brief diary." So if he is not a person, what is he? He predicts a massive social catastrophe ("fire and blood and anguish") clearly refers for the Birlings, to the First World War and for the audience, to both World Wars. If we see this play metaphorically it doesn't matter who the Inspector is, instead we look at what he is representing. The Inspector talks about millions of Eva and John Smiths suggesting that the dead girl represented other victims in society. The Birlings stand for the bad qualities in humanity e.g. greed and lack of charity and Priestley suggests that we need to look after everyone in society. The ending is ambiguous. If the Inspector is a supernatural being this is suggested by his melodramatic entrance and prophetic speeches. Inspector Goole is quite portentous. Priestley aimed for his role to connect a series of unrelated events and bring a fellow creature to destruction. The Inspector could have been a sprit of conscience that belonged to everyone's guilt so it becomes a very powerful character. ...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'

    I have to say that honestly I didn't like this play very much. It wasn't very dramatic. It would have been better to have a big twist at the end, like Edna could have been Eva's mother or something like that.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' - how does Priestly resent the character of Goole? If ...

    Gerald is around thirty so he is older than Sheila and Eric. He is trusted with the secret of Arthur Birlings possible knighthood, Gerald also has views on how a factory should be run and how the workers who work inside it are treated and the importance of breaking even

  1. What effect does the visit of Inspector Goole have on the Birling family? How ...

    And now you've stopped. You're ready to go on in the same old way." Ironically, with the way the play ends, as the real police turn up at the Birling residence, the members of the family who learnt the first time round, from Inspector Goole may not have such a

  2. Discuss the Importance of the Inspector 'Goole' in this play:

    The play was set in 1945 just one week after world war 2 had finished. The events taking place at that time were; War, industrial revolution and the S. movement. This is significant because J.B.Priestley is trying to get his message across.

  1. Would You Agree That the Play Is One Big Metaphor?

    The poor girl Eva Smith/Daisy Renton lived a poor life. Nothing ever went right for her, through no fault of her own, each episode was more devastating than the last. The victim must have had dreams and ambitions of living a high-class life, but everything she tried eventually failed.

  2. Eva Smith's Diary

    12/December/1910 My first day at Milwards was exciting. A new phase in my life. It was very good. it feels so different from all that factory work I've been doing. I help Miss Francis to get the clothes if the costumers want them. The money is ok and much better than Birlings.

  1. An Inspector Calls - Inspector Goole arrives in the middle of a happy and ...

    "Edna'll answer it.... then we'll join the ladies" The doorbell has already split up the family celebration. As Birling tries to get back to "Giving the others the benefit of my experience", he is once again interrupted this time by Edna "Sir, an Inspectors called."

  2. Examine the role of the Inspector Goole in "An Inspector Calls" and comment on ...

    we were all mixed up together like bees in a hive - community and all that nonsense." Again we have another vision of this characters personality and shows that he fails to realise his social and collective responsibility and he doesn't realise how much of an impact that he has on others.

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