Dramatic Functions of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

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Dramatic Functions of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

In the play An Inspector Calls, a message is being portrayed to the reader by J. B Priestley and in my opinion, the main bearer of this message is the inspector. Being of an ambiguous nature, he appears to live in a different world to the family with whom he deals; the Birlings and it is his dramatic function in the play that I shall be analysing.

Firstly, we have the Stage Instructions to consider. Throughout the play, there is no mention of Inspector Goole's physical appearance except in the first set of stage instructions when he enters the Birlings' house. He is said to "need not be a big man but he creates at
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Another important issue is the way in which Priestley has structured the play. As Inspector Goole is questioning the members of the household, Priestley has made sure it is obvious that there is a certain order in which they must questioned. When Gerald asks to see the picture the inspector says, "hold on, your time will come" and "one line of inquiry at a time" This shows he has already planned out whom he will speak to first and last and what information he will have. Due to the fact he already knows that each of them holds a key to Eva Smith's death, it is likely he could be a time traveller travelling back in time to punish the Birlings and make them realize the consequences of their actions.

The dialogue from the other characters also helps us to comprehend the role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls. I especially think this is achieved by Mrs. Birlings views on Eva Smith towards the end of the play, she thinks of Miss Smith a "an impertinent child" and apparently. "was giving herself ridiculous airs… that were simply absurd for a child in her position." This signifies that Mrs. Birling does not think highly of the girl and bearing in mind the social and historical context of this
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