In this essay I will discuss the role of the Inspector in the play in depth. This will allow me; to prove the hypothesis either right or wrong. The play opens with the Birling Family and Gerald gathered together to celebrate the engagement of Sheila and Gerald. However there is doubt of the engagement being more of a business proposal. This is shown by a suggestion Birling made in his speech; of how the Crofts and Birlings should no longer compete but work together. In the dining room there’s laughter, teasing comments and moving speeches.
Suddenly the joyful atmosphere is torn apart by the dramatic intrusion of a harsh figure investigating the suicide of Eva Smith. Under interrogation the shameful secrets are revealed linking each family member and Gerald towards the dramatic death of this young woman. J. B. Priestly wrote “An Inspector Calls” during one week in 1945. He was a Yorkshire man who lived from 1894 to 1984. The play seems to be about the key conflicts taking place in the English society in 1945. He expresses many of the playwright’s views about the class system, politics and responsibility et cetera. J. B.Order now
Priestly seems to express all this views through the inspector. I believe the characteristics Priestly used for the Inspector, which include aggressive, a moral tone and a use of emotive languages kept the play mysterious all the way through. For example; The Inspectors “Calling” is quit ominous. Because “Calls” is a misleading word to use about the Inspector. The way he operates may appear casual and spontaneous, but in fact it’s single-minded and manipulative. Another point to make is the Inspector appearance is misleading. As the staging directions tell us that he creates an impression of massiveness, firmness and purposefulness.
However he’s described as; in his 50’s and dressed in a “plain, darkish suit of the period”. He doesn’t seem really intimidating. Nevertheless he has a habit of looking hard at the person he is interrogating before he starts to speak, also he doesn’t make any jokes, thus leading to everyone to take him seriously. He controls the rate at which the shameful secrets are confessed. These were just the techniques that were required to let everyone acknowledge the responsibility for their own actions. Inspector Goole has come into this house to stir thing up.
One way of doing this is to stir up his listeners with emotive language. For example he starts off with “a girl has just died in the infirmary. She drank some strong disinfectant. Burnt her inside out. ” This gives the audience and the family an enormous shock Also nobody expects Inspector Goole either. He’s a policeman he’s meant to ask questions. But everyone confesses. And this is all due the way he shapes the plot; which he does by answering his own questions Also the Inspector’s power lies in his knowledge.
He moves discussions on by revealing new information e.g. he also reveals how Eva Smith was supposed to be pregnant, which heightens the drama. The inspector not only reveals what everybody did, he also passes judgement. E. g. He tells us that there isn’t much of a difference between “respectable citizen” and “criminals”. However the highest dramatic peak of the whole play is the final exit of the Inspector; as he highlights all their action in a harsh lecture, making them all feel guilty (even Mr. Birling collapses into a chair as staging directions show). After he tells them how their actions affect the whole world.
– “If men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire blood and anguish. Good night. ” As he dramatically exits the house, leaving the Birling family shocked, petrified and wondering. By the end of the evening, the children have rebelled and the family is collapsing. That final speech affects the house so dramatically that the family literally is torn apart between the younger generation and the older generation. The older generation are old-fashioned. We learned this from the beginning, the authority Arthur and Sybil Birling have is unquestioned, and they are in control.