An Inspector Calls Essay

2596 words - 11 pages

Length: 2561 words (7.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Red (FREE)      
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Analyse the character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. 

Discuss his: 

* Role in the play 

* Effect on the other characters 

* Stage presence 

When the Inspector first knocks on the front door, it is dramatic 
irony because Arthur just said a matter of seconds before of how he 
‘might get a knighthood if we don’t get into any sort of trouble’. 
This is a very significant time of entering, similar to knocking over 
a tower of Jenga – everything one has hoped for has just evaporated 
into thin air. As an ...view middle of the document...

The reason the 
Police Inspector arrived here at the Birling household was to 
investigate a suicide. He seemed to already know everything that the 
family told him of the questions he was asking. It was as though he 
had been watching them for the past 10 or so years and knew everything 
that had gone on. It appears innocent, just routine innocuous 

On one level, J.B. Priestley is using the Inspector’s character to 
solve what seems to be a police inquiry, investigating a suicide. On a 
deeper level, Priestley is using the Inspector to help the family see 
where they can take greater responsibility in society; he is helping 
them see their mistakes and helping them to learn from their errors 
and change their way of thinking. 

Inspector Goole does not look like a normal inspector; he is not 
particularly well dressed, he doesn’t look important, therefore does 
not appear a threat to Mr. Birling obtaining a knighthood. He is 
serious and very much in control of the situation, for example, when 
Mr. Birling wants Sheila to go out of the room the Inspector demands 
softly, “No, wait a minute, Miss Birling”. He gets what he wants 
without a lot of trouble. The Inspector in this instance ignores Mr. 
Birling’s objections and Sheila stays. Another example of his overall 
control is when he stops Eric going to bed; 

Eric – I think I’d better turn in. 

Inspector – And I think you’d better stay here. 

The Inspector reveals information when he is ready – not one second 
before, not one second later. He speaks with great strength, and has a 
massive amount of authority. He is very crafty and is an excellent 
deceiver in the way he talks. Inspector Goole questions them over and 
over again until eventually they confess their actions. He uses 
emotive language to gain the family’s attention and to make them feel 
very guilty, he says, “She died in misery and agony – hating life”. 
This in the end makes them confess and telling the truth of what they 
did and how it related to Eva Smith’s death. What wasn’t found out 
until the end of the play was the fact that not all of the family had 
seen the same photograph of Eva Smith: 

“Birling- Gerald’s dead right. He could have used a different 
photograph each time and we’d be none the wiser.” 

The Inspector said: 

“One Eva Smith has gone – but there are millions and millions of Eva 
Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their 
hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all 
intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do.” 

This speech is basically the moral of the play –the outcome of our 
actions are so important. They can make the world a better place or 
they can destroy and cause damage to the people and environment around 

To sum up the role of the inspector, you need to look at what he 
represents. This could change the interpretation of the whole play, An 

Other Essays Like An Inspector Calls

An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1060 words - 5 pages An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley Introduction: The play was written in 1945, but the play was set in 1912, before the 2nd World War when people talked confidently of the future, unaware of the disasters to come. Part 1: Mr. Birling is very self-cantered, doesn't like to be proved wrong and he thinks low-class people are not as good as him. Mr. Birling is very competitive and if Sheila marries Gerald

An Inspector Calls - Theatre Essay 3

972 words - 4 pages An Inspector Calls - Theatre Essay Introduction: This superbly crafted play by J.B Priestly ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written in 1945 and set in 1912. The play was written at the time of the Second World War. The specific setting is as the Titanic is to set sail for America. The world was also thinking about going to war with Germany for the first time. Life for the poor in 1912 was very insecure. There was a lack of a Welfare State

Author's Message In An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1113 words - 5 pages Author's Message in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley In this assignment I'm writing about the effect Inspector Goole has on the Birling's in the play 'An Inspector Calls' written by J. B. Priestley. Inspector Goole is a mystifying character he comes to the Birling's home without a notification, i.e. a phone call. He shows nothing to prove that he is an inspector, he just tells Edna his name, and we have no

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls As Detective Fiction

2861 words - 12 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as Detective Fiction The play “An Inspector Calls” starts of in the genre of detective fiction. But, as the play goes on, the reader realises that the genre does also fit into politics and mystery. The play has many conventions of detective fiction that misleads the reader, not through out but near the end of the play. When the reader finds out that there is no revelation scene, one

An Inspector Calls

637 words - 3 pages Chedwyn Evans maintains his absolute innocence and his family, friends and many who know the true facts of the case believe that his conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice. On 15 July 2014 Ched’s new legal team David Emanuel of Garden Court Chambers London and Shaun Draycott submitted an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission which is the first step to a second appeal. They are confident in their submission. We

How JB Priestley Creates A Moral Message In An Inspector Calls

1246 words - 5 pages How JB Priestley Creates a Moral Message in An Inspector Calls This play is much like a detective story as it includes a great number of 'ingredients' that a detective story would have, such as the fact there is a detective in the play,Inspector Goole.There is a victim, Eva Smith or Daisy Renton. There are many suspects. Money and relationships are also included in the play, especially

Differences and Similarities of the Characters of the Play " an Inspector Calls"

1945 words - 8 pages An Inspector Calls Compare and contrast two characters from the play “An Inspector Calls”. Explain how Priestly communicates his ideas through them to the audience whilst entertaining them. I nclude:- * Social and historical context, * 1914-1918 WWI, * Depression 1920s-1930s, * 1939-1945 WWII, * Priestley’s intentions – socialist views, * Dramatic devices and how they are used, * How language is used to present

Which Characters Change Most Throughout 'an Inspector Calls' and Why Do the Change?

1147 words - 5 pages Which characters change the most through the course of the play and why do they change? This essay will be looking at which characters change and why throughout the play 'An Inspector Calls'. 'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1945 by J.B. Priestley and is set in the spring of 1912. The play is about the Birlings, an upper class family who are paid an unexpected visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole. They are thoroughly interrogated by

The Character That Changes The Most In An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1523 words - 7 pages The Character that Changes the Most in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley In the essay I will try to answer the question of, ‘Which character changes the most in An Inspector Calls?’ I will do this by; explaining the role played by the character in the play; showing how and why I think they change; focusing on the effect on the audience by the stage directions and settings; showing what messages Priestly manages to get

What Do We Learn from the Stage Directions at the Beginning of ‘an Inspector Calls’?

1791 words - 8 pages What do we learn from the stage directions at the beginning of ‘An Inspector Calls’? ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written during the Second World War by playwright and dramatist John Boynton Priestley, and focuses on social injustice in the early 20th century. The play is set in 1912, Edwardian England, just before the war, which was a very difficult time for England. It was a period when there were many strikes, food shortages and great

The Inspector's Role in an Inspector Calls with Close Reference to Eric, in Act Three Support You Ideas Further with Reference to the Inspectors Questions of Other Characters

917 words - 4 pages The Inspector in an inspector calls has many roles here are just some of them. I know that the Inspector is a catalist because he says on page 54 act three.''And my trouble is that I haven't much time.You will be able to divide the responsibly between you when I am gone.'' This is suggesting to the Birling's that he does not have much time and he does not care about what they say think or do or how they defend themselves. An example of this

Related Papers

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

An Inspector Calls Analysis

1498 words - 6 pages An Inspector Calls, as its curtain rises, does not seem particularly different from many other plays popular in the same period. A middle-class family sits around a table, having just enjoyed a satisfying dinner, and the maid clears the table. The scene sets the expectation that this is going to be a family drama, maybe even a comedy, and the focus will be on this happy family environment. Yet, Priestley’s play undergoes a subtle shift in mood

An Inspector Calls By J.B.Priestley Essay

1986 words - 8 pages An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley "Priestley's play is unusual in that a character, the Inspector, could be said to direct the action of the play." This is a comment made by a theatre critic about the play "An Inspector Calls", and the character, Inspector Goole. By studying the play, I find that I can justify myself in agreeing with the critic's statement; that the Inspector does direct and control the action of

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls Essay

837 words - 4 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls I think that the main theme of An Inspector Calls is responsibility, because the Inspector's questioning reveals the irresponsible behaviour of each of the other characters in turn. There are a lot of lies told in this play. Every character lies except the maid. In with the lies there is also hypocrisy e.g. when Mrs