Analysis of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

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Analysis of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley The word Inspector suggests someone who looks closely at things, and this is his role in the events of the play. This, and the fact that Priestly recognised the Birlings would almost certainly have refused to be questioned by a common policeman, is probably the reason why the person to bring the news of Eva/Daisy's death is portrayed as an inspector. The Inspector is never given one specific identity, but there are some which would suit his character. The Inspectors name 'Goole' sounds the same as ghoul- someone with a morbid interest in death or a spirit which is said to take fresh life from corpses, and it is…show more content…
He often plays the voice of conscience, his familiarity with what each character has done goes beyond what any investigator might reasonably be expected to know. Things that they concealed from eachother- even from themselves- are brought to surface at the Inspectors insistence. Priestley intentionally leaves the provenance of the figure of the Inspector unexplained, his real identity a mystery. This is more effective than any clarification would have been because to reveal that the Inspector was, for example, a practical joker ( as the Birlings hope) or that he was a sort of 'avenging spirit' would ruin the effect the Inspector has on the audience. The effect the Inspector has on the audience is as important as the effect he has on the characters in the play. This is because of what he represents; the conscience of not only the characters but of also the audience. Through the Inspector Priestley presents us, the audience, with a sincerely felt and powerfully expressed social message. We are shown the comfortable home and rich way of life of the Birling family. By contrast, we have the accounts of the desperate attempts of Birlings factory workers to increase their poor wages, and the drab and sordid life that Eva/ Dais is forced to lead as a result of the actions of people such as the Birlings. Priestleys compassion for the lower and

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