Compare And Contrast Mr Birling And Inspector Goole

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John Boynton Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on September 13th 1984. The play “An Inspector Calls” was written by him in 1945, and came onstage in 1914. An Inspector calls, is a play that revolves around the apparent suicide of a young woman called Eva Smith. In the play, the unsuspecting Birling family are visited by the mysterious Inspector Goole. Priestley uses a variety of different techniques, especially language and quotations, to contrast and elicit differing responses to Mr Birling and Inspector Goole. Mr Birling and Inspector Goole are two opposite characters. Both characters have a similar age and are both male, but have a very different presence on stage. Mr Birling is described at the start as "heavy-looking, rather portentous…show more content…
Mr Birling is very selfish towards the other characters, and believes he is in control. However as the play continues, his behaviour becomes increasingly different and he starts to lose control and power over his family. He becomes agitated and uncomfortable, and displays anger towards his children. An example is when Mr Birling responds (angrily) to Eric ”Don't talk to me like that. Your trouble is – you've been spoilt--”. To contrast with Mr Birling’s behaviour, Inspector Goole remains calm and collected throughout the play. Unlike Mr Birling, Inspector Goole asserts his authority successfully over the other characters. He is an authority figure. An example is when the inspector yells “Stop!”, and all the characters are suddenly quiet, looking at him. Looking at both of their behaviours and how they interact with the other characters, can make the audience form an opinion about them both, and can make them place a liking over one character more than the…show more content…
Mr Birling makes long speeches at dinner about things that the audience would know were incorrect. For example, he claims war will never happen and that the Titanic is unsinkable. “And I say there isn’t a chance of war. The world's developing so fast that it'll make war impossible." He is confident that there will not be a war. The audience, (knowing that two years after his speech, World War One will begin), see that Mr Birling is wrong. This makes the audience lose trust in him as a character - if he’s wrong about this, what else could he be wrong about too? However to contrast with Mr Birling’s thoughts, as the Inspector delivers his closing speech, he prophesies a terrible future. "And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." The Inspector predicts a future of hell, filled with a vision of ‘fire’ and ‘blood’. Priestley experienced war first hand, so some suspect that what he saw in wartime influenced the Inspector's final speech. Mr Birling is shaken by the investigation. He doesn’t learn any lessons during the course of the play. When it seems that the Inspector might have been an imposter he is overjoyed and mocks the others for having been 'tricked' by the investigation. Inspector Goole drives forward the drama, with his questions creating shocking moments and gripping cliff-hangers for the audience. By the
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