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

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Introduction

What is the Dramatic Function of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'? The play 'An Inspector Calls' was written by J.B. Priestley and it is about a rich family, a poor girl, an inspector and what connection each member of the family has to do with the poor girl, who ends up committing suicide. It begins with the family Arthur Birling, his wife, his son Eric, his daughter Sheila and Sheila's fianc� Gerald. They are all having a drink celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald. Later that evening an Inspector called Inspector Goole arrives and asks questions about a girl name Eva Smith who has just committed suicide. It starts with the family believing they have no major connections about the girl and how and why she committed suicide but as the play progresses Priestley uses the Inspector extremely effectively and all of the families secrets and lies are revealed and we find out the connection each member has with the poor girl which highlights Priestleys message. Priestley uses the play gives out the message to society that just because the rich have power and authority it doesn't mean that they are always good and right they are wrong and bad as well, like 'normal' people. The play helps show the rich that they are not 'untouchable' from the law and that they can get into trouble and have problems as much as 'normal' people and it also says that people don't think about how their actions effect others and it also gets across Priestleys message that everyone should look after each other. We are all part of one body. In this play I will attempt to get across views of who the inspector really is and what the dramatic function of the inspector is. At the start of Act 1 the Birling family is celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling and Eric Croft. ...read more.

Middle

because the inspector will knock the wall down and they will regret everything later which means that the Inspector knows that you are lying and if you try to build up your confidence that you did nothing wrong and you shouldn't be ashamed he will just beak your confidence and say you should be ashamed easily as he knows everything that occurred. Mrs. Birling after hearing this then again says about her husband Arthur being lord mayor a few years ago again showing their power and hiding behind their status for protection for herself. Sheila then reveals Eric's drinking problems to Mrs. Birling that she is totally unaware about showing the secrets and lies in the family. This also implies how the rich upper class believe that there is never any problems with there family so Mrs. Birling refuses to believe that her son could be a drunk.. The inspector then questions Gerald about his connections with the girl and as he does Sheila repeats his questions and follows up his questions, backing him up all the way through. This makes Sheila a sort of advocate of the inspector showing his power to turn the family against each other which sows how the different generations have different views as the younger ones are on the Inspectors 'side' and not on the older generation their parents side. The inspector did not show a photo to Gerald this time so this makes the audience again wonder who this girl is if it is the same girl so the inspector is using the photos to create dramatic impact. The inspector has created a situation where Gerald ha admitted to an affair but it may have nothing to do with the girl and we never know because he didn't show a photo to Gerald. Not needing to show a photo to Gerald shows his innocence and honesty at the moment, as he wants it in the open because someone like Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

After a while they hear a knock at the door and in comes Gerald. Gerald then goes on to say and prove hat there is no inspector Goole making the audience and family wonder who both the inspector and girl were if it was the same girl. Here we see who has learnt anything from the evening because the parents laugh it of and are glad that they got away with helping the kill Eva Smith and want to forget it whereas Sheila and Eric said it doesn't matter if he was a real inspector or not they still did all those things showing the inspectors influence and power over the family and how he managed to divide the family up between the two ages of youth and older so effectively. Then right at the end when the realise he was a fake they get a call from the police station saying a girl has just committed suicide and an inspector is on the way to ask some questions leaving them all dumbstruck. That is where the curtain falls leaving the audience wondering if what is happening and if they really learnt anything or not. After all of the events I would say that everyone of the family is to blame as they all helped to kill the girl. Mr. Birling because he started of the chain of events firing her just because she wanted a rise, Sheila because she got her sacked from her last good job forcing her on the streets just because she was jealous of her, Gerald because he made her feel wanted and special before chucking her out on the streets and leaving her for Sheila making her feel useless. Eric because he got her pregnant and didn't look after her properly when she as pregnant and Mrs. Birling because she denied her, her last opportunity for help just because she use her name. All of this shows that everyone was partly to blame for her death as a girl of Eva status had very few options and the Birling family abused this. Robert Luya 10GM ...read more.

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