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An Inspector Calls Essay

3295 words - 14 pages

Drama: An Inspector Calls- Task One

Written in 1946, "An Inspector Calls" takes us into the comfortable
and complacent world of the Birling family who are disturbed during a
celebration by the arrival of a mysterious police inspector. A young
girl has committed suicide and it is revealed how all members of one
family contributed to it. "An Inspector Calls" resorts to the ripping
off of masks that we human beings frequently wear, with the Inspector
relentlessly pursuing the truth. Just when the audience is tiring of
discoveries, the whole action is given a violent twist and everyone is
caught up in the unfolding events. When each member of the ...view middle of the document...

this is just a cover for his conscience and the Inspector and the
audience can see this. In reality, he is greedy. Every penny in his
pocket counts, and he tries to makes it seem that he feels that his
workers deserve no more than the national average pay, if that. Nearer
the end of the play, he begins to show remorse, although this remorse
is directed more toward the fact that he may not get his knighthood
because of the scandal, instead of feeling remorse at his actions in
the situation. This is shown quite well when he says "But I care. I
was almost certain for a knighthood in the next Honours List". Remorse
is seen when he says, "I would give thousands" but it is obviously too
late and again, it is about money and not the caring. Also, it is
implicated that he may have tried to bribe the Inspector; "perhaps you
and I had better go and talk this over quietly in a corner". This
again shows that money seems to be the centre of his existence. He
cares more for money than for his fellow humans. He appears as a
typical, "hard-hearted businessman", not caring about his workers'
needs, just about how much money they are making him and how little he
has to pay them to work.

At the end of the play, when it is suggested that the Inspector was a
hoax, he seems more pleased about the fact that he is in line for a
knighthood again, rather than learning from the experience. What he
has learnt is how to block out the bad things in life. Also he builds
walls around himself, at the end of the play to try to protect himself
and his family's reputation. He is moved to anger by the Inspector and
is not affected by being confronted with the effects of his actions
until the Inspector is about to leave and reality hits him. His main
worry throughout the play is that there could be a public scandal and
his family name could be given a bad reputation. If he did not get his
knighthood, which is very likely, he would be devastated and puts this
before the wants and needs of his family. He is very self deceptive
because he convinces himself that he was not in the slightest way
responsible for the death of Eva Smith. He does not seem to be
extremely distressed by the fact that his son seduced a young girl,
making her pregnant, stole money from him, and that his wife abused
her position as head of the organisation which should have helped a
young girl in distress. His main concern is that all of this will
become public gossip and his reputation will be ruined. His belated
remorse is undermined by his jubilation that the Inspector was a hoax
and that there is not going to be a public inquiry.

He has learnt how to build walls to protect himself and if another
inspector came then he would probably keep quiet and show no emotion.
The experience has not made him more caring towards people and he will
probably treat his workers in the same way. However, he will probably
be more careful to ensure that nothing like this...

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