Essay on The Role of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls

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The Role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls'

An Inspector Calls is a play with many social and political messages. J. B. Priestley believed a great deal in socialism and he used several of his plays to try and influence people to be Socialist as well. It was written in a time when Britain was ruled by a Labour government and socialist policies were seen as the way forward. It was a popular way of thinking at that time so Priestley's aim for the play was probably to teach the unconvinced.

The Inspector in J. B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' is one of the most thought-provoking and mysterious characters that modern day literature has yet produced. It is this mysterious element that contributes greatly to making him a very
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The family use their house as a status symbol and have decorated it in a way so as to reflect their wealth. We learn this from the 'few imposing but tasteless pictures' which will probably have been chosen because they were expensive, not because they were liked. These pictures also tell us that the Birlings are proud of their wealth and think themselves to be very important but lack the good taste which is present in those who are socially superior to them. The house is described as being 'substantial and comfortable and old-fashioned, but not cosy and homelike.' This setting suggests that the family are uncomfortable with each other and therefore suggests problems. They speak to each other in a fairly relaxed manner, despite the attempts from Mrs. Birling to enforce a more formal atmosphere by correcting her family whenever they make minor errors in table manners. The champagne shows that family are joined to celebrate. Gerald is a guest at the house and so the family are all well-behaved and pleasant to one another but there are several hints that this is for show and there are problems which are being ignored. Mrs. Birling treats Eric and Sheila as if they are two small children even though Sheila is engaged to Gerald and so is a young woman. This is shown when Sheila refers to Eric as 'squiffy' and Mrs. Birling scolds her by saying 'What and expression,
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