The Role and Function of the Inspector in J.B Priestly's "An Inspector Calls"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By DancingWidow
Words 2825
Pages 12
In this essay I am going to be exploring the role and function of the inspector in “An Inspector Calls“. I am going to break down his role in the play, explore his effects on the other characters and analyse his stage presence and also show his intention in coming to the Birling household. I am also going to express whether I think, in the play, the inspector is supposed to be a real person or something other. When exploring the effects that the inspector has on the other characters I will describe the characters personalities and characteristics before the inspector arrives, and then after, once the moral has been introduced, to then find out whether they have engaged in becoming a better person or not. The social and historical perspective of the play is very important as it was written in 1945 and set in 1912. There are lots of events that happened between those times that the audience would have known at the time. Most of these are mentioned by the deluded Mr Birling, who says facts that the audience know not to be true, but he says them in such a confident, superior manner that it makes the audience dislike him. He says things such as “just because the Kaiser makes a speech or two, or a few German officers have too much to drink and begin talking nonsense. The Germans don’t want war. Nobody wants war, except some half-civilised folk in the Balkans. And why? There’s too much at stake these days. Everything to lose, and nothing to gain by war”. Even when Eric, who is a lot more sensible than his father and sees things the way they are, and not like he wants them to be, interrupts and says “ Yes, I know- but still-” Mr Birling just says “ just let me finish, Eric. You’ve got a lot to learn yet. And I’m talking as a hard-headed, practical man of business.” This of course is relevant because the war did, in fact, happen and all the audience would have known…...

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