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Discuss The Role Of The Inspector In The Play 'an Inspector Calls'

2095 words - 8 pages

In this Play the inspector plays various roles. He plays a socialist as he is against capitalist views and because he is not just looking out for himself but others as well. Also he is known to be a catalyst as he brings a split in the Birling family. He plays a ghost as we find out he is not real. Additionally he plays a fraud because he is not a real inspector, but he does act as an Inspector. The inspector adds a great deal of tension and drama to the play. Priestley does this because he brings tension between the younger generation consisting of Sheila and Eric and the older generation consisting of Gerald, Mrs. Birling and Birling because of the inspector. Priestley uses the inspector as a substitute of him self to put his socialist points across this adds drama because we have to think about what he is trying to do.The four Birlings and Gerald are happily seated around the dinner table having an enjoyable night celebrating Sheila and Gerald's engagement. All of them are feeling happy and are comfortable and relaxed and do not seem to have a care in the world but all of that is about to change. The scene is set in 1912, which is a pre war time. Also this is the time when the suffragettes were fighting for women's rights. Additionally this was the time that the Titanic was built. The unsinkable ship, which ironically sank, would set sail in a week's time. The life that the Birlings live is very nice and easy but Priestley is showing how great things always end in disaster like the evening they are having. This is also ironic as he starts by telling us how the Titanic was unsinkable and it ended and just like he will go on to tell us how the Birling's lives are good at the moment but this will soon come to an end. The story does have some relevance to the early nineties even if the novel it was written in 1945.All these points are there to remind us of how not all good things last and how we should all look out for each other and not just for ourselves. An example is 'We are members of one body,' said the inspector. This shows us that the inspector is enforcing the point of being part of one community and that we should look out for one and other. This also shows the link of how the inspector could just be Priestley in another form such as a ghost. I believe that Priestley is reminding us to look out for each other just in case any major wars happen and we have to rely on each other so that's maybe why he is enforcing this.When the inspector first enters the stage the atmosphere changes but not a great deal on first sight of the inspector. The inspector does not appear to be a big man but he does make him self appear strong and confident. He gives an impression that he will destroy them if they toy with him.Sheila changes the way she thinks and decides from now on she is going to be good. She has come to this decision as a result of the influence the inspector has had on her. His socialist views have been understood by Sheila and have changed...

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