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Who is Inspector Goole?

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Introduction

Who is Inspector Goole? The inspector is in permanent control of the play, you get the feeling that he already knows all of the answers, he just wants the characters to confess to themselves. The timing of the inspector's entrance demonstrates the way he knows everything and how his purpose in the play is to prove wrong Birling. "A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own - and - (we hear the sharp ring of a front door bell ). Right in the middle of Birling's speech about looking after yourself and ignoring the rest of the world. The inspector works the characters into confessing, "Both Eric and Gerald rise to have a look at the photograph, but the inspector interposes himself between them and the photograph" he controls what each character knows and sees and that way he could be talking about different girls but the Birlings have no solid evidence. ...read more.

Middle

He is to the Birlings as the three ghosts were to Scrooge. In Goole's last speech he says that if man doesn't learn this lesson "They will be taught in fire and blood and anguish." This play was written after WW2 but set before WW1 and so Priestley was probably talking about the forthcoming war which he believed was caused by selfish, self-centred attitudes. After the inspector leaves we find out how he effected the characters. I think the inspector had the desired effect on Shelia, "IT was my fault really that she was so desperate when you first met her." If anything I think that Shelia has taken too much of the blame upon herself. Mr Birling doesn't take any responsibility for Eva Smith's death, (to Eric) "You're the one I blame for this." ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr, Birling refers to inspector Goole as a "socialist crank", by this he means someone who doesn't believe in his views of an everyone for themselves world. The inspector is definitely socialist, this is clear fro his final speech but he is probably not a "crank". The inspector is referred to as larger than life, I think he certainly isn't normal and that he conceals a lot. Where Goole got his information is another question, he couldn't get all of that information just from a diary, the inspector had morals and philosophies and that isn't like a police officer. The way in which he makes the characters confess to their crimes could also be counted as a supernatural power. Inspector Goole definitely isn't normal but what is is isn't sure, the way he tries to guide the Birlings into good and socialism could, this could possibly make him an angel. ...read more.

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