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What is the function of The Inspector in the play An Inspector Calls Essay Example
What is the function of The Inspector in the play An Inspector Calls Essay Example

What is the function of The Inspector in the play An Inspector Calls Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (2318 words)
  • Published: October 12, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The play 'An Inspector Calls' was written by J. B Priestly in 1945 although it is set in 1912.

This is interesting because it was written after WWII but was set post - WWI because of J. B Priestley's message and warning of war which is presented as one of the functions of the Inspector! The play is set in the dining room of the Birling's mansion -The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses.Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl. Inspector Goole causes arguments between the family, breaks up Gerald and Sheila's engagement and exploits hidden truths about certain characters. He does all this and he turns out to be a fake! With this shocking evidence the Birling's and Gerald try to restore the celebratory mood until Arthur Birling receives a phone call from a real Inspector who is investigating the same suicide.

The play was first preformed in Moscow, Russia because at the time it was the beginning of The Russian revolution - which ultimately was the upbringing of communism in Russia. J. B Priestley had many political views but he especially focuses (and is against) social inequality in Britain, so to aware the audience of this he had a hidden message of communism in the play which is why it was first preformed in Russia.Priestley deli

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berately set his play in 1912 because the date represented an era when all was very different from the time he was writing. In 1912, rigid class and gender boundaries seemed to ensure that nothing would change. Yet by 1945, most of those class and gender divisions had been breached through acts like The Suffragette Movement.

Priestley wanted to make the most of these changes. Through this play, he encourages people to seize the opportunity the end of the war had given them to build a better, more caring society.Other types of social/historical context within the play are touched upon by certain characters such as; The Suffragette movement (Sybil, Eva, and Sheila), The Rise of Industry (Arthur and Gerald) and The Issues surrounding the state of welfare (Inspector Goole and Sybil). He has a large dramatic impact on the characters and audience. The Inspector creates shock at the very beginning of the play. Just after he enters he drops in the point that "she'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant".

This shocks the audience and characters as you can tell by Eric's expression "My God" immediately afterwards.This demonstrates the impact on the Birling family and the audience would have the same feelings. Priestley put this in at the beginning to make everyone feel shocked by what had happened. One of the many functions of the Inspector was for him to be a warning. This was achieved by the Inspector's name - 'Goole' which sounds like the word 'Ghoul' which is a type of ghost, also the fact that h

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wasn't a real Inspector in the Police Force adds to the impression of one of the functions of the Inspector being a ghost.This has being portrayed in the play as: "Gerald: I met a police sergeant I know down the road.

I asked him about this Inspector Goole and described the chap carefully to him. He swore there wasn't any Inspector Goole or anybody like him on the force here. " This is done because of one of the functions of the Inspector were for him to be a warning - of the real Inspector at the end of the play. In similarity to this, the Inspector was also used as a function to be a time traveller and a warning.This was achieved in the play because he wasn't a real Inspector and after he left a real Inspector rang and said he was coming over inquiring the same suicide of a young girl - this was basically the play repeating itself again but this time for real so Inspector Goole could have been the Inspector from the future and he has come back to prepare and warn The Birling's and Gerald.

The reason why I believe these functions were used is that J. B Priestly is the same in the sense he is warning of war and has travelled back in time with his play as it is set in 1912 but written in 1945.So his voice in the Inspector is a warning of the investigation so the characters should change the way they act. Priestley's voice as the play is a warning of war for the world - for they to act like the characters in 'An Inspector Calls' and should change the way they act. In an addition to this, a further function of the Inspector is; that he is trying to teach us to follow and obey moralistic values (so he represents social reasoning) such as; to be aware that there is a community, you are part of it and that community should be as one.

This is shown in the play in Goole's final crux speech: "We don't live alone, we are members of one body, we are responsible for each other. " The use of repetition, list of 3 and use of emotive language (in the speech - Act 3) is used to draw out attention to it and help us remember the point that; We don't live alone! We are members of one body and are responsible for each other. Also these devices in the speech are used because of some of the historical/social context which was about the industry blooming causing selfishness.Also the use of second person pronouns which directly speak to the characters and audience suggests the message is directed at us, the audience. These are the functions of the Inspector in the play but in the play The Birling's and Gerald are against and don't follow this - especially Arthur even though Priestley wanted society to come over these bad habits such as selfishness, wealth prejudice, sexism and abuse to the lower classes .

This final point about who the Inspector is

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