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What is the role and of the significance of the Inspector?

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What is the role and his significance in the Inspector? The Birling family are a capitalist family who do not care for society, only themselves. The inspector arrives just after Mr Birling talks about his views on life. He says "I've learned in the good hard school of experiences - that man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own - and-"(pg 10) The inspectors role is to show that this is not the case and that they are part of a community. Throughout the play he demonstrates how people are responsible for how they affect the lives of others; his views are summed up in his prophecy and dramatic final speech: that "we are members of one body. We are responsible for each other" (p.56). Priestley describes the Inspector, when he first appears on stage, in terms of "massiveness, solidity and purposefulness" (p.11), symbolizing the fact that he is an unstoppable force within the play. He controls the development of events: who will speak and when; who may or may not leave; who will or will not see the photograph. He manages them to do as he says, as he has a "disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before speaking" (p.11) This gives the impression that he sees through each character to the real person in them, looking for he truth. ...read more.


What she like? Quite young? Pretty? This shows she is selfish by telling the inspector that he has ruined her evening and immature by asking stupid questions like was 'is she pretty?' But the Inspector changes Sheila after he tells her that the girl who died is the girl she sacked at Milwards. She becomes the most emotional over her death and becomes from the most immature to the most mature of the family. The inspector makes her learn that she had been selfish and has learned from her wrong doings. The Inspector makes her the most guilty about Eva Smith even though she is the least involved, by saying "A pretty, lively sort of girl, who never did anybody any harm. But she died in misery and agony-hating life-" This repeated phrase makes Sheila more distressed and she says in distress "Don't please - I know, I know - and I can't stop thinking about it-" This is all psychology and the Inspector uses it throughout the play to mess with their minds by repeating phrases he knows will upset them, such as "The girl's dead though." Gerald is the next to become involved, but I don't think that he has caused Eva Smiths death (Daisy Renton to Gerald) as he simply was the only one out of all the characters involved who cared for her. He gave her a room, he fed her, and he left her in a cheerful manor, unlike the others. ...read more.


His name, Goole, gives him a mysterious, disturbing sound - a ghoul, differently spelt from the Inspectors name, is a spirit which takes fresh life from corpses, and the Inspector's existence is a result of the girl's death. If he is not a real Inspector, what is he? A clever impostor collecting data from a girl or girls' lives. Is he a personification of the social conscience all the characters in the play all lack? A supernatural, God-like being from above, as he seems to know what each character has done, without being told? Or maybe he could be the spirit of the girl's dead child getting back at the Birling family, telling them of what they have done, and they have to learn how to change themselves. It only worked for Eric and Sheila, not with Mr and Mrs Birling. But that is not important because as long as Sheila and Eric understand, their children, and their children will. That is probably why the whole process of an inspector coming around is repeated again at the end of the play, to make sure that Mr and Mrs Birling understand about their wrong doings. After they found out that he is not a real inspector Mr Birling and Mrs Birling were relieved and only Sheila realised that it does not matter if he is real or not. She cleverly says "He inspected us all right" ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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