Social Responsibility In An Inspector Goole

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Throughout the play ‘An Inspector Calls’, J.B. Priestley attempts to present his views on Britain’s society in 1945. Priestley creates the character the Inspector Goole to display his own criticism on the society and show how people should deal with their social responsibility. The Inspector is a distinct and discrete character. He can act in such blunt and direct manner regardless of his social position, because his identity is unknown. Additionally, unlike any other characters, the Inspector is not directly linked with the death of Eva Smith. This means he is not required to take any responsibility, but allowed to denounce others without feeling ashamed of himself. Priestley has not created any specific characteristic for the Inspector Goole…show more content…
As soon as he enters in Act One, the lighting changes from “pink and intimate” into “brighter and harder”, foreshadowing the interrogation that will be taken place, and at the same time signifying his existence on the stage. the Inspector is described as a man who “gives an impression of massiveness, solidity, and purposefulness”, visual imageries that tone down the light, joyful and celebratory mood of the dining scene at the beginning into more serious one, as a cue sign for the actual play to start. His name ‘Goole’ sounds similar to a ‘ghoul’ -‘an evil spirit that feeds on dead bodies’ or ‘a person morbidly interested in death’(Google). The second definition would be more relatable to the play as the plot is encircled around the death of Eva Smith. It’s highly doubtful that the Inspector Goole has reached to the point where he is highly obsessed with the family disaster, however, he does approach the affair with a great tenacity. Mr Birling mentions the Chief Constable being “an old friend” of his, to show that he has a close connection with the person the Inspector Goole -presumably- worked for, and establishes himself in a higher position than the Inspector. However, the Inspector keeps his “rude - and assertive manner” as Mrs Birling describes him later in Act Three. The Inspector’s unprejudiced and unbiased actions reflect his main role of reminding others of their social responsibility. It also stirs a sense of suspicion through the audience, as they would wonder why he is so careless about his own job. Overall, Priestley presents the mysterious aspect of the Inspector Goole to create a bigger impact on his message through the play. After the Inspector leaves the house, everyone else start to question about his identity. Sheila suggests the foremost point that anyone “hardly ever told him anything he didn't know”. This is when everyone else begin to recover from
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