The Inspector In An Inspector Calls Essay

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Explore the ways Priestley presents the Inspector in An Inspector Calls

‘An Inspector Calls’ is a play written by dramatist J.B Priestley in 1945. Priestley was a left-wing socialist and this was one of the factors which influenced him to write this play to portray his opinion on socialism. Even though the play was written in 1945, it was actually set in 1912, right before the start of the First World War. Set in the spring of 1912 at the Brumley home of the Birlings, a prosperous industrial family in the North Midlands, the plot involves the family getting involved in the death of a woman named Eva Smith as a consequence of their misdoings. The Inspector, who is the main character, uses his unusual methods to interrogate each member of the
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This gives us the feeling that he is a force not to be reckoned with, and at once the Inspector challenges Arthur Birling's views without any hesitation and disregarding the Birlings social status. The Inspector is quite rude and intimidating throughout the play, as we can see through his mannerisms and the way he speaks to the other members in the play, this shows the audience that he has no respect for the Birling’s status and that he possesses a high sense of authority over the family. This intimidating behaviour leads to the Birlings ending up believing that the inspector is not actually a real police inspector. The Inspectors methods of interrogation are quite unusual as well, as he says “One line of inquiry at a time”, which is not that odd for an Inspector but gives the audience a sense of uneasiness from the Inspector. The Inspector’s name also has some symbolism as ‘Goole” is resembles ‘Ghoul’ which is the definition of a ghost, but not surprisingly, he appears like a ghost; no one knows who he is, he just turns up and suddenly knows everything about the whole family, and to me this creates a lot of tension and entertainment throughout the play. Priestley presents the Inspector as an enigmatic character, he is also presented in a ‘god’-like…show more content…
The phrase “We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.”, shows the audience that Eva Smith's death was inevitable but it was the wrongdoings of the Birlings and Gerald which lead to the situation, the fact that they don't care about anyone else but themselves puts them in a more vulnerable situation. I think this is Priestley's main idea that he wanted to bring out in this play. The phrase “And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish. Good night”, refers directly to the World War which was set to happen a couple of years after the situation, and Priestly refers to World War I as a consequence of not ‘treating others with the same respect you would want to be treated with’. World War one being a war which had over 30 million casualties over the course of 4 years just goes to show that if we do not act as a community, ‘looking after one another’, we will definitely face the consequences, one way or another, sooner or later. There is also a strong Christian overtone to the ending, making it seem like a phrase out of the revelation, powerfully correlating with two of the seven deadly sins, ‘Pride’ and ‘Greed’. When Arthur Birling rings up the chief constable to look
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