Throughout the whole play; different emotions, feelings and actions have taken place within each of the characters; being a mixture of regret, guilt, anger and bemusement with most of them being down to the inspectors invading input through both verbal and physical presence. In this miniature essay I will be lightly going through who the inspector is and what his purpose is. Inspector Goole comes into the play as an apparent inspector for the police force but as the story progresses his unnatural rude and pushiness starts to become very evident and suspicions arise of whether he is of the high authority or a fake and so who, throughout the play, is quite unclear.
There are two ways about him; one being that he is a man who’s purpose is too deliver a clever and massive hoax to the family as Gerald rightly points out ‘quote’. By this we know that the inspector wasn’t being honest and when Gerald brings it too light the whole thing seems to one sick set up to make the family feel bad however after the infirmary calls to prove the death of Eva Smith the hoax idea doesn’t fall into place and that bring the other idea about the inspector being supernatural. One reason the inspector may have been ghostly or supernatural is within his own name which is ‘Goole’, this could be an implementation by J.B Priestley to obscurely imply that he is of a supernatural force as it is just a different spelling to ghoul which is a spectre or spirit.
Also another thing that adds to his phantasmal presence is that the inspector says that Eva Smith had committed suicide and was at the infirmary; so Goole was saying it as it was in the past ‘quote’ however the family found out that infirmary hadn’t had such a suicide for months, but later gets a call-back saying a girl matching the fate of the inspectors telling just turned up. Unless it was a very cleverly plotted out hoax; the inspector, by fact, had foretold the future perfectly which is very strange and abnormal.
Who the inspector actually was may have been unclear but his purpose was more palpable. At his introduction to the play he seems, to the family and reader, an inspector doing his job but as his out-of-line rudeness and interrogatory nature is highlighted to the family; it starts to look more personal ‘Public men, Mr Birling, have responsibilities as well as privileges’ here the Inspector seems to be overpowering Birling and putting him in his place which is unusual for an average man of the authority.
His purpose seems more intent on teaching a lesson and force-feeding guilt to the family and using Eva Smith as an example ‘We are all responsible for each other’ the inspector says implying that the family should have taken a greater responsibility over making the right decisions and thinking of the outcome as they all contributed to the supposed death of Eva Smith. He also says ‘If men will not learn that lesson…they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish’ maybe trying to get the family to understand the error of their ways and that they should be regretful and sincere about their actions or they will find themselves learning it the hard way.