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Write an essay discussing the character of the inspector, his method of discovering the truth, the effect he has on at least two characters, both while he is with them and after he has gone. Give your view of who (or what) he is and why you think this.

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Introduction

An Inspector calls (English coursework) Q. Write an essay discussing the character of the inspector, his method of discovering the truth, the effect he has on at least two characters, both while he is with them and after he has gone. Give your view of who (or what) he is and why you think this. A description of the inspector is given by Priestly as Edna (the Birling Family house maid) answers the door. It portrays the Inspector as not being a big man in stature, but he creates "an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness." He is a man in his fifties and is dressed in a plain darkish suit of the period. Even the way he dresses seems to add to the effect of his dark, deceptive and mysterious manner. He cross-examines the family as if he were a forensic scientist, he has a disconcerting and analytic habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before he speaks to that person. His name "Goole" gives a strong ghostly feeling, the way it is enunciated and the slippery effect it gives off the tongue causes us to feel the spooky and uncanny nature of his presence. ...read more.

Middle

The inspector is very persistent and will not be side tracked in the way he carries out his investigation. He doesn't let Mr Birling's threatening talk, of his friends in the police force, persuade him to handle the investigation differently. In fact it makes the inspector rather restless and angry, he keeps the blame constantly on the Birlings no matter what they say or do. The inspector follows up his questions with more questions to keep continuous pressure on the Birling family, he is also very pacey and impatient with the whole questioning. He always seemed to state that he didn't have "much time", a real police officer would take as long as he liked to question people for his investigation. The inspector is very particular in who he shows the photograph of Eva Smith to, bearing in mind that we can't clarify that it was actually a photo of her. His excuse for inquiring in this bizarre manner was that he insisted on using one line of inquiry at a time. This is also another reason to suspect his false inspector identity, as an ordinary police officer would not insist on doing this. ...read more.

Conclusion

He seems to get a subdued and wondering reaction from the Birlings when he does his "Fire, blood and anguish" speech. He leaves Sheila "quietly crying", Mrs Birling has "collapsed into a chair", Eric is "brooding desperately" and Mr Birling "hastily swallows a drink." The inspector's speech also makes the audience think of the First World War (which hadn't actually happened at the time the play was set). When the inspector first arrived at the Birlings' stately home they were selfish, inconsiderate, insular and contented. They also liked to think of themselves united as a family. They were extremely rich and privileged upper middle class snobs who did anything in order to keep their money, good fortune and good name even if it meant casting people aside and hurting them. The inspector made the Birling family think of members of society other than themselves and he pulled them out of the safety of their own world, and he showed them the reality and consequence of their actions. He made them think about how they were all responsible for each other and also makes the reader think that we are part of a collective that should help each other when we are in times of trouble. Priestly gives a strong message that we should help and care for each other, or we will pay the price in "fire, blood and anguish." ...read more.

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