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What Is The Role Of The Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'

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What is the Inspectors role in the play, 'An Inspector Calls' The role of the Inspector, in the play 'An Inspector calls' is perplexing his role or roles are thought provoking and very fascinating, of course his most obvious role is that he is an Inspector, however this very title is questioned in the latter stages of the play, more over, we see him used as a substitute for the author J.B Priestley, used to put across his own socialist views against capitalism "We are members of one body", furthermore the Inspector is a catalyst in the splitting up of the Birling family, the older generation of Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and Gerold Croft vs Shiela and Eric Birling. Finally, the Inspector is the controlling force within the play, his questioning introduces new story lines, and changes the play, he makes the Birlings and Mr Croft question themselves and examine their lives and responsibilities in the world they live in. The play starts off; The Birling family are seated in the dining room, celebrating the engagement of their daughter, Shiela to Gerold Croft, also present. They appear to be a very high class, rich and well respected family, it is very important that the reader knows that the play is set in 1912 but was written in 1947, because what happens next in the seen ...read more.


This speech again builds up tension, and is deliberately left by by Priestley until the end of the scene, Priestley uses cliff hangers to make the audience think about the Inspector, and question whether he is a real policeman. The Inspector has many characteristics that individuate him from other normal Inspectors, right from the start of the play there are hints that he isn't a real Inspector, all the Birlings notice that he doesn't act like a 'normal' Inspector, Mr Birling had suspicions of the Inspector because he thought he was spoke to him rudely "look at the way he spoke to me telling me to shut up". "They don't talk like that". furthermore, some things are far more super natural, for example the Inspector's name "G-O-O-L-E" very much sounds like the word "ghoul" coupled with the fact that "Inspector" very much sounds like the word "Spectre" which means 'ghost' makes the audience think more into why the Inspector has come to the Birlings, this is dramatic irony, because the Birlings and Croft only realize that the Inspector wasn't a real Inspector when Gerald croft walks into a policeman while outside, and asks him about the Inspector, as it happens the Inspector's story that he'd been recently transferred was in fact false, "By jingo, a fake." ...read more.


When the Inspector leaves he reveals with a speech what he and Priestley believe "We are responsible for each other." in his speech, the Inspector makes a refrence to the upcoming first World War, he says that if man does not learn that "We are members of one body.... then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish." - this is perhaps an angelic or god like warning comparable to the story of 'scrooge' The true identity of the Inspector is never actually revelaed or explained by Priestley, I believe that Priestley did this so the audience intepret the Inspector in their own way, in addition by not revealing the Inspectors identity he remains a more higher being and his points on socilaism are thought about more by the reader. To consummate, I believe the Inspector's role in the play, is that he is used by Priestley to voice his opinions against capitilism. In my view, this play would not be as effective in regards to its moral teachings, when viewed by an audience of today, when compared to an audience of 1947, due to the fact people have now accepted the benefits of Socialism and have less to learn than an audience of 1947. Ameer Patel - 11.3 - Mrs Sozou - Room 15 ...read more.

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