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

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An Inspector Calls What is the function of Inspector Goole in J.B.Priestley's play, An Inspector Calls? An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 by John Boynton Priestley. The play was set in 1912 two years before the first world war so from this their would have been irony as the audience would know. The play is set in a dining room in the Birling's residence in Brumley, North Midlands which was a fictional industrial city. At the time the play was set the world was a very class conscience place with higher and lower class depending on one thing: money. The country was set up in two categories with the socialists which consists of the Political System in which ways of community and sharing are promoted and capitalists which is the political system which values private ownership and the individual. The country really was involved around capitalist values. For example there was no welfare state. In this essay I will be focusing on the main functions of the inspector. The inspectors role is a key to the plot and conclusion and delivers morals and principles and how the functions of the inspector get used in specific places throughout the play. The play opens with the Birling family and Gerald celebrating the engagement of Gerald and Sheila. It is dramatically effective because you get to see all the characters in one room therefore seeing their personalities, instead of them being introduced one-by-one. ...read more.


Mr.Birling stares at Eric sharply, "what's the matter with you?" (act one, page 11) he says. Eric replies defiantly "nothing" (act one, page 11) tension is emerging just from the inspectors arrival and also conflict between the older and younger generation, could Eric just be surprised or is he involved. The inspector is causing tension between Arthur and Eric. The inspector is creating tension between both of the characters. Birling then says he was the lord mayor two years ago expecting that he deserves respect, but the inspector is not impressed, Priestley's used the inspector as a device to bring out his socialist views and there is an example of his views as there should be equality. The inspectors technique of interrogation is very effective as he questions each character one by one, focusing on one character at a time. An example of his technique is when the inspector pulls out a picture of Eva. Eric and Gerald are annoyed that they did not get to see the picture. This is an example of the inspectors technique which cause the characters to show irritation which is interesting for the audience and causes suspense and tension. The writer does this because he wants the audience to feel anxious and on the edge of their seats to see what the conclusion would turn out to be. ...read more.


This makes the audience have to make their own decision about the end of the play and the inspector. Priestley especially targets the middle class, he wanted to challenge people's responsibilities. A spectacular turn of events in the plot of the play. For example, when the characters realize that none of the incidents reported by the inspector had really happened. This creates confusion in the audience. Then we have another shock when the telephone rings to tell them, and the audience that Eva Smith/Daisy Renton has just died, this is an example of Coup de Theatre. Priestley uses the inspectors voice to promote his own ideas to the characters and the audience. You could say that the inspector is like "a puppet pulling the strings" which is a hyperbole. The inspector was not only there to create tension and suspense and to teach about collective responsibility but also he was a catalyst as he sped up the process of the confessions of each character. This play is a "whodunnit" which is a play where all is revealed in the final scene. Priestley succeeded in the use of the inspector as he created tension and suspense and the use of a catalyst, not only on the stage but within the audience and also anxiousness and confusion. He used the inspector as a device to deliver his socialist views to the characters and the audience and promoting how collective responsibility is important in today's society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Dane Barnett 10MF 5/1/2007 ...read more.

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