Analysis of 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestly
‘An Inspector Calls’ is a twentieth century drama written by J.B.
Priestly in 1947 but takes place in 1912.
This story is about the Birling family celebrating their daughter,
Sheila’s engagement to Gerald Croft. A few pages into the story, an
Inspector called Goole which means ‘spirit in death’ interrogates the
family and the story of Eva’s death unfolds. As it progresses each
character realises their connection to her tragic death.
Behind this story there are many meanings or points that Priestly
wanted to get across, especially his views on socialists and
capitalists. A socialist is somebody who believes in and supports
socialism or socialists party. Inspector Goole’s character portrays
Priestly’s views on socialists but on the other hand Mr Birling is
against the ideas of socialists and is a prime example of a
capitalist. A Capitalist is a wealthy person, especially somebody made
rich by capitalism and considered to be avaricious.
The story was based in 1912, right before the 1st and 2nd world war,
The Labour Strikes, The sinking of the Titanic and The Suffragettes.
Parts of Mr Birling’s speeches create dramatic irony as the Titanic
did sink and the war did happen.
In ‘An Inspector Calls’ tension is created in many ways. It can be
created by stage directions and the characters use of language.
To answer the question above, I am going to see what techniques
Priestly uses to create dramatic tension in Act 3 and how it would be
shown on a staged production.
In this play, Inspector Goole portrays Prieslty’s views and opinions
on socialists and capitalists. The Inspector supports the ideas of
socialists and so does Priestly. He also has strong views on the
working views, that they should be treated equally like the high class
people. This is what Priestly wanted to get across through the
Inspector. The Inspector is an extremely commanding and authoritative
person, in his speech and his personal presence: “He creates at once
an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness.” He
dominates the other characters even the Birling parents, who are used
to dominating others and being obeyed “(As Birling tries to protest,
turns on him) Don’t stammer and yammer at me again man. I’m losing all
my patience’s with you people.” He’s often blunt but at the same time
deliberately harsh “Two hours ago a young woman died in the infirmary.
Shed been taken there this afternoon because shed swallowed a lot of
disinfectant. Burnt her inside out, of course.”
If an actor was to play the character Inspector Goole to create
dramatic tension, he would have to be confident in his speeches as
well as be blunt, manipulative and emotionless. He would have to use
the same mannerisms that the Inspector uses for example being...