• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

Who is inspector Goole and what is his function in the play? How may his role be shown in a performance of the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

_______________________________________________ Who is inspector Goole and what is his function in the play? How may his role be shown in a performance of the play? J.B Priestley wrote the celebrated play 'An Inspector Calls' at the height of his powers as a playwright. Although the play was written at the end of WW2 in 1945 it is set in a spring evening in 1912, 2 years before WW1. Edwardian society at that time (1912) was strictly divided into social classes and over two-thirds of the nation's wealth was in the hands of less than 1% of the population. Edwardian society was distinctively divided into Upper, Middle (doctors and merchants, shop workers and clerks), and lower classes. (The ordinary workers and the poor, many of whom lived below the poverty level). It was a time when sexual repression was coming to an end as the Suffragettes movement ran through the era in which the play was set and it was at its most violent and bitter stage. This movement was operated by educated middle and upper class women who had the time, money and social opportunities to devote to the cause. The years 1910 to 1912 were years of great industrial unrest, relations between employers and workers deteriorated. Prices were rising but wages were not. This caused workers to become more efficient and better organised causing strikes to become more frequent. At the time in which the play was set there was no social security provided by the government. People, who fell on hard times would have to fend for themselves, turn to their families or seek charity. Around the country there were many charities set up by the wives of businessmen and professionals. Some of them did a great deal of good and were extremely well run. Many of them, however were organised by people with no real interest or knowledge of the lives lived by those who they were supposed to be helping. ...read more.

Middle

The Inspector doesn't seem to be of this world, let alone of the Brumley police department. This is a strong possibility because the Inspector, not once touched anything solid. When asked for a drink (pg 11) he refused. You can tell that the Inspector is not a member of the police force because Mr Birling says he knows most of the officers in Brumley and when asked ' do you get on with the chief constable' the Inspector replies ' I don't see much of him.' Which reinforces the prediction that he is not a real Inspector but a hoax? The Inspector is omniscience- he knows everything about the family's involvement with the girl, before the Birlings reveal their secrets. He constantly repeats, "I haven't much time" which could suggest that is some kind of spirit whose time on earth is running out. When the Inspector first enters the play Priestley describes the Inspector in terms of 'massiveness, solidity and purposefulness' symbolising the fact that he is all over the place, he sees, hears and smells anything anywhere. It symbolises the fact that he is an unstoppable force within the play. Priestley's description of the Inspector when he enters the play is describing him in terms of a Super-being and as a reference to god. The Inspector's name Goole, also has tremendous significance, it is a homonym. Ghoul, another form of the word, has exactly the same sound but its meaning carries a great effect on the play as a Ghoul is a demon that eats dead corpses which could suggest that he ate Eva Smith and could account for the fact that he (the Inspector) knows everything about Eva without ever meeting her. A Ghoul is "an evil spirit" to Birling and his upper class peers as he (Inspector) comes to confront their conscience. The Inspector affects Sheila and Eric, the younger generation, more then any other characters because that's what priestly wanted, he wanted to show us that the young generation should/are learning from their own and the mistakes their parents made. ...read more.

Conclusion

When you see a group of people on the streets standing beside a table inviting you to take a read of their literature, the way some socialists do, or preaching their religious philosophical believes you hope to walk past them unnoticed. Priestly chose the best way to present his concern and believe. He used his philosophical and abstract ideas and a very powerful device at that time, which was the theatre, to convey and outline his message of proactive unity and how societies should be formed. He resourcefully used his experience and his talent as a playwright to make sure his message was heard and understood, by the right audience. One wonders to themselves, was Priestley introducing a new system of running a government, which was to find its basis from communism. He believed that a person's wealth should be taken away from them and be shared (in communism it is rationed) so that every one is equal in wealth. The moral of "An Inspector calls" is that no matter what class we are, we are all human beings and therefore we are all equal in our claim for Human rights. Priestley's biggest message was collective responsibility and that we must work together. Priestley didn't want all the suffering he and countless others went through in the war to be worthless. He wanted the social system to change and its people to be more responsible for their actions. Priestley wrote this play to make his audience, question their own character and beliefs. He wanted to show us that the claim for superiority could lead to unseen and unheard disasters. Priestley wanted to get this moral across, he wanted us to learn from the mistakes of the Birlings and that we should not shift the blame on to others. I think Priestley did get his message across but unfortunately we will always have to bear witness the exceptional people such as the Birlings who never change. Mohammed Shuaib - 11NGO - Sapphire House < 20th Century Drama Coursework > - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The apportioning of blame and responsibility are central themes in 'An Inspector Calls'. Each ...

    4 star(s)

    The fact that Sheila truly repented for her actions tells me she is not purposefully to blame. Sheila was 'desperately sorry'. The inspector now tells us that Eva smith changed her name to Daisy Renton. Gerald realizes that he too was involved in the young girl's death but pretends he

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Inspector Goole functions as a mouthpiece for Priestleys ideas. What is his function? How ...

    3 star(s)

    also refers to the point that the inspector has control over the Birling family in their own home. Showing that Priestley's socialist ideas overpower the capitalist ideas of the Birling family. Priestley uses the final speech of the play to sum up his views.

  1. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    Birling may not get his knighthood because of the visit from the inspector may cause a scandal. All these things are the effects of the Inspector's visit. All Priestley is trying to do is make everyone take responsibility for their actions, for example what he is doing to the Birlings.

  2. Discuss The Role Of Eric Birling In The Play: An Inspector Calls.

    This is because at one point he agrees with him when he says "And as you were saying Dad, a man has to look after himself," and at another he disagrees when they are having a discussion about the reason for Eva Smiths death.

  1. What effect does the visit of Inspector Goole have on the Birling family? How ...

    When it turns out that everything could be a hoax. Birling pretends nothing has happened. He hasn't learnt a lesson at all, he thinks if he pretends life is the same and that everything is normal no one will notice anything is wrong.

  2. Inspector Calls-How Sheila Birling Changes And Develops Through The Play

    Sheila does not change or develop here. When the Inspector arrives and questions Mr Birling, Sheila responds shocked by the suicide but also she seems quite jealous of the girl and asks questions about her. 'What was she like quiet young...pretty?' This quotation shows us that Sheila is jealous and insecure; she wants everything too be perfect for her.

  1. How does Preistley present the character of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    This shows that although the Inspector may be described as slightly ruthless, he does have a side that wants to help the Birlings' by showing them the error of their ways. The 'Inspector' could be playing the role of someone who tries to make the members of the Birling family confess.

  2. How is Eva Smith presented in the play? What is the function of this ...

    Mrs Birling despite being the head of a charity committee feels getting to know and understand anyone of a lower class in her own society repulsive and unacceptable of a woman of her class who only cares about appearance and reputation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work