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What is the Function of the Inspector In The Play as a Whole, to the Plot, Characters And the Audience - An Inspector calls.

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What is the Function of the Inspector In The Play as a Whole, to the Plot, Characters And the Audience. The play 'An Inspector Calls' was set in 1912 in an industrial city in the North Midlands. In the play Arthur Birling, a prosperous manufacturer, is holding a dinner party to celebrate the engagement of his daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft. Arthur Birling is naive about things like war and he doesn't believe in community and is very selfish. He only cares about himself and his family, and seems to think that he can abuse people who are of a lower class than himself. The party is interrupted when a police inspector, Inspector Goole, turns up to question members of the family about the suicide of a young working class woman. The inspector interrogates them all and, and every member of the family turns out to have done something terrible to the woman. He tells the family she had a few identities. The inspector says that the woman died by drinking a lot of strong disinfectant. He claims that Arthur Birling upset her when a girl called Eva Smith worked for him and asked for more money, she was refused it she went on strike and he ended up firing her. He protests and says that he was paying her good money and her suicide couldn't possibly be his fault as it happened almost two years ago. ...read more.


He also needs to clear his conscience with his bride to be, Sheila. The inspector then shows Mrs Birling the photograph. She denies that she has seen the woman before in her life but then admits that two weeks previously at the Brumley Women's Charity Organization in which she is a prominent member of. The woman had appealed to the organization for help under the name Mrs Birling, which had offended Mrs Birling greatly. Mrs Birling refused the girl help. The girl wanted help because she was pregnant and Mrs Birling told her to look for the father of the child as it was his responsibility. The woman had told Mrs Birling that the father of the child was just a young boy who liked to get drunk, she said he had offered her money but she had refused as she had suspicions that it was stolen. She argues that the father of the child should be the one being questioned and he should be punished for getting the young girl into trouble. The inspector makes Mrs Birling reveal her opinion on the situation to the whole family, making sure everyone knew that she was against the father of the child. He knew what was going to be revealed next, which would make her look foolish, and against her own child. They then find out that the father of the child is Eric, Mr and Mrs Birling's son. ...read more.


The guilt then comes back to all the members of the family and there the play ends. The function of the Inspector in the play is someone who manipulates the family members into admitting revealing secrets such as infidelity, theft and the extent of their selfishness and greed. He is a strong character who is not afraid to be rude to get the truth out of the family. He is very clever as he uses his knowledge of the family to get them to admit more so he can obtain more information about their lives. In the beginning Mr Birling says how much family means to him, and how he does not believe in community. Later in the play the inspector manages to make Birling to begin to realise that he should have respect for people in the community and that what is happening in his family may not how it seems. He had been seeing everything through rose tinted glasses and putting his family up on a pedestal. He had not been recognising things that had been going on under his nose. He may say that he cares deeply about his family, but not enough to know them. If cared as much as he said he would have talked to them or at least noticed changes and things happening. The inspector tries to show the Birling family the meaning of family and community and to make a balance, and make more of an effort with everyone who he meets in life. ...read more.

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