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

What is the dramatic function of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls.'

Extracts from this document...


What is the dramatic function of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls.' Mitchell Ward The play itself was written in 1945 but set in the Edwardian era, which was in 1901-1914. This was a time of prosperity for the middle classes and industrialists. They were unhappy with the poor conditions at the time. This era ended with two world shattering events; world war one and the sinking of the Titanic. J.B. Priestley set the play in this time to make the audience feel more connected to the play as many of them had been through the distress and trauma of these events, which makes it a lot more meaningful to them. Priestley wanted a more just society and this is shown in the play by the characters opinions and how they express them. At the end of the play when they all regret what they have done, Priestley is trying to show how he thinks society is wrong and that everyone is responsible for each other. The play 'An Inspector Calls' is led and controlled by one character from when he arrives up until when he leaves. This is the inspector. He keeps the rest of the characters going throughout the play and maintains the tension at all times. ...read more.


He enters at a very significant time, during Mr. Birling's speech about society. As he mentions how 'a man has to mind his own business.' From this point onwards, the inspector is doing the exact opposite of this, being nosey and impatient with the family. This annoys Mr. Birling which creates more tension in the play. This may cause conflict between the family and the inspector or even between family members. The only description of the inspector is in the stage notes of the play when he enters the house. They say he creates 'an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness. He is a man in his fifties, dressed in a plain darkish suit... He speaks carefully and weightily'. This creates a sense of mystery in the play to the reader as to who the inspector actually is. From reading the stage directions you think of him as an average inspector. It says that 'he looks hard at people before actually talking to them' which may be to get their attention but it may scare the characters. This shows he is a strong character and that he is not scared of much. At first the name Inspector Goole does not seem unusual or significant to the play at all, but when you have read the whole play and seeing that he disappears at the end, it is possible that the name could be changed to Ghoul, like a ghost. ...read more.


The inspector confuses the audience and characters at many points in the play, which is the main thing that controls the tension and keeps the audience alert and thinking. When the phone call is received at the end, it ends the play with a point of high tension and leaves the audience thinking and intrigued. In my personal opinion I believe that the inspector was a ghost that came to warn them about what was going to happen and why they are involved. It prepares them for the next visit of a real inspector, and gives them time to think about what to say and how to deal with the situation. I do not believe that it was the ghost of Eva Smith because at this point in the play she may not even exist and that may not be the name of the actual girl who committed suicide. If it was the same girl, she was probably still alive at the point where inspector Goole was round. His character has two purposes; to warn the family about what to think and say and to educate the audiences about Priestley's views on society and how things should be. He keeps the audience alert and thinking throughout the whole play which helps them to understand the whole story at the end. ...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. Examine the function and symbolism of the Inspector

    As well as making things much worse for Eric, the father, she lowers her image by being so stubborn. This is another example of dramatic irony. As the text moves on to Eric Birling, the audience is given another

  2. What is the function of Inspector Goole in J.B.Priestley's play, An Inspector Calls?

    This is an example of the capitalist world at this time, that you should look after yourselves. The inspector's final speech "but just remember this. One Eva Smith has gone but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us" this quote is saying

  1. Who is inspector Goole and what is his function in the play? How may ...

    girl and stole money to keep her living and Mrs Birling used her influence to deny help to Eva Smith when she needed it most, driving her to suicide. "A chain of events" Eric, Gerald and Sheila are the young upper class generation who unlike Mr and Mrs Birling (their parents)

  2. What is the Dramatic Function of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Straight away after the Inspector has finished Mr. Birling seems annoyed that his celebration has been interrupted for this girl and he says it has nothing to do with him and his family without hearing what else the inspector has to say.

  1. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good Night." These are Goole's final words to complete his "lesson" on responsibility. Although he is currently talking to the characters in the play at this moment, his words emerge like a sermon in a church might and he seems to be in fact addressing the audience as well to convey his message to them.

  2. In this essay, I am going to write about the function of the inspector ...

    Gerald is a handsome man, who's wealthy and fashionable. He's from an old country family that's socially superior to the Birling family. The stage directions give us the impression that all the family are very happy. "Sheila is a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and

  1. Consider the Dramatic Function of Inspector Goole in the play An Inspector Calls.

    To be able to portray this message he has to make everyone accept their responsibilities which is more difficult with the older generation, therefore Goole begins to lose his patience with them. Another important issue is the way in which Priestley has structured the play.

  2. Explore the function of Inspector Goole in ‘An Inspector Calls’

    when the Inspector tells of Eva's actions after the affair ended. Indeed when Gerald goes for a walk he is really going to investigate the Inspector and find out the truth about him. Gerald learns very little in the end.

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