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Inspector Goole's Role Within The Play

1803 words - 7 pages

Explore Inspector Goole’s role within the play essay
Inspector Goole is the prominent character in the play. This is even indicated before the audience is even introduced to him. The name ‘Goole’ sounds to the audience like ‘ghoul’, which is a pun. Priestly uses a pun to make the play more dramatically effective. The Inspector’s name seems to suggest a certain supernatural element to his character. You can see the contrast with this name and with the other characters in the play that all have names like ‘Sheila’ and ‘Eric’. These are names, which could be attributed to countless number of people at the time. The author chose to do this to inform the audience subconsciously that Inspector Goole is significant in the development of the play. Throughout the play, Inspector Goole lives up to the expectations as an attention grabbing and ghoulish character capable of knowing things before characters. He has a tough personality and introduces a key theme in the play, which carries out what the author intended for the characters and the audience to confront. I shall explore Inspector Goole’s role within the play and see how it contrasts to his character, themes of play, dramatic effects and the author’s intentions.
The Inspector’s “calling” is pretty ominous. The word “calls” sounds so casual; as if the Inspector is just dropping in for an informal chat and a cup of tea. However, it is quite the opposite. “Calls” is a deceptive word to use about the Inspector. He operates in a focused and calculating mood. However, at the beginning it seems that he is a casual and spontaneous by the ay he carries out the investigation. The stage directions tell us that he “need not be a big man”, but he creates at once “an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness”. He is in his fifties, dressed in a “plain darkish suit of the period”. He doesn’t seem particularly intimidating. However, he has a strange effect on people. His manner is deceptive. He has a “disconcerting” habit of “looking hard”, at the person he addresses. He is grave. He doesn’t make any jokes. This helps force everyone to take him seriously. He controls the rate at which the revelations tumble out. At one stage, he slows everything right down – he looks from Gerald to Eric to Sheila as he is going to question them. He does this to make them feel nervous and scared. He can also speed up the pace of things – e.g. he turns “sharply”, when he tells Mrs Birling she has “no hope of not discussing” Eva/Daisy. He can cut into dialogue “with authority”; he tells Mr Birling that Eric can “wait his turn”. He “massively” interrupts Birling, to inform him that public men have “responsibilities as well as privileges”. He speaks “firmly” when he contradicts Birling and allows Eric to have another drink. All these things show us that Inspector Goole is no ordinary inspector, but is something much more bizarre and supernatural. He answers his own questions if he is not pleased with the answer he gets. He...

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