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

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

The inspector is an enigmatic character; playing one of the biggest parts in the drama.

He is described on his entrance as creating "an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness. He is a man in his fifties, dressed in a plain darkish suit... He speaks carefully, weightily, and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking.".

He works very systematically; he likes to deal with "One Person and one line of enquiry at a time." His method is to confront a suspect with a piece of information and then make them talk - or, as Sheila puts it, "He's giving us the rope - so
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He leaves the family with the message "We are responsible for each other" and warns them of the "fire and blood and anguish" that will result if they do not pay attention to what he has taught them.

All this mystery suggests that the Inspector is not a 'real' person. I think this is where the pun on the name 'Google' comes in. In my opinion, Priestly has used the inspectors name in reference to the word 'ghoul', suggesting that the inspector is an enigmatic, supernatural force of some kind. I also believe that the inspector could represent something else; like an entity such as God, the world's conscience or even Priestley's ideas and opinions on his 1912 society.

The Inspector himself adds drama to the play, he controls the pace and tension by dealing with one line of enquiry at a time. Slowly the story of Eva's life is unravelled, like in a 'whodunit'. He is in command at the end of Act I and the start of Act 2, and the end of Act 2 and the start of Act 3. Altogether he is a brooding, inescapable presence, very much in control. He is very mysterious and seems to know what is going to happen before it does. Because of this, he stands as the most powerful, important person in the room, capable to manipulating the other people to make them say and do what he wants.

There are hidden features in the play that expose certain dramatic features,
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