"An Inspector Calls" Write About Inspector Goole's Character In This Play How Far Is He A Believable Policeman? How Does Priestley Use The Inspector In The Play?

3765 words - 15 pages

The way Priestley presents his character of Inspector Goole in the play is mysterious. I think Priestley use of this air of mystery is deliberate. The foremost method used by Priestley to present the unusualness of this character is the name Inspector Goole which is an obvious pun or homophone (Inspector A spectre, Goole a ghoul). We as an audience never find out who the Inspector is. There are many possibilities that can be taken into consideration – he could be a ghost of Eva Smith avenging her death; he could be some sort of cosmic balance, keeping people considerate. He could be anybody or anything. Priestley also intentionally bring emphasizes the name in the play as Inspector says, “Goole. G - double O - L - E” which shows us that the name was well thought of by Priestley to give the character an air of mystery.The Inspector’s role as some sort of mystic, all knowing power is reinforced when he explains to Gerald Croft why Sheila wants to stay to hear his confession. His comments, “if nothing else, we’ll all have to share our guilt” has universal significance and is not restricted to the immediate concerns of the Birling family. Sheila’s appreciation of the Inspector’s power grows in Act 3. she seems to sense his super human qualities when she says to him, “I don’t understand about you.” The quote “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, they’re suffering and chance of happiness are intertwined with our lives, with what we think and say and. We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.” In this quote the Inspector speaks with the universal significance, which portrays his character in a prophetic way, which is strange for a policeman who mostly relies on evidence rather than his principles and morals.The Inspector is speaking, unlike a police officer, but a prophet. He goes on to say “if men do not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish” Priestley uses this to create a sense of irony as the play was set in 1912 only 2 years before the great war 1914-1918, and was written in 1946where the world was just recovering from the shock of the Second World War. I feel J.B. Priestley was trying to say that we must change and accept responsibility for one another in order to prevent war and suffering throughout the world. This difference in time also allowed Priestly to create dramatic ironies like the sinking of the titanic, which Birling described as ‘unsinkable’ and the great depression which Mr. Birling thought “there’ll be peace and prosperity and rapid progress everywhere”.The theory might be that the Inspector represents truth and is not a real person at all but a representative of justice. I think that the Inspector gives it away when he gets far too...

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