The Role Of Inspector Goole In An Inspector Calls

1241 words - 5 pages

The Role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls

In this essay I will be discussing the role of Inspector Goole in the
play ‘An Inspector Calls’. I will be commenting on the effect
Inspector Goole has on the other characters around him. I will also be
analysing dialogue to see how it helps to motivate the characters
around him. I will also analyse and interpret the theme of the play. I
will also look closely at how J B Priestley makes good use of
historical context.

Being set in 1912, ‘An Inspector Calls’ contains a lot of historical
context and political views which were around at the time. J B
Priestley has strong political views on social responsibility; which
motivated him to write this play. He wanted to convey his beliefs and
thoughts through a character, so he created Inspector Goole. J B
Priestley was a socialist and believed everyone lives together and we
all affect one another, he has used the Inspector to express his
views.

The play is about an investigation into the suicide of Eva Smith, a
working class girl. The Birling’s do not realise that each one of them
had affected her life. However the main theme of the play is social
responsibility, which Priestley has strong views about. Inspector
Goole is the central character to this play and he has a strong aim
which he accomplishes. The inspectors aim is to make the Birling’s
feel remorse and learn from their mistakes.

Inspector Goole is a strong and confident character in the play. When
he walks in ‘he creates an impression of massiveness, solidity and
purposefulness’. Priestley chooses to describe Goole is this manner to
make the audience and the characters in the play feel intimidated by
his presence. His solidity is seen through out the play, especially
when the characters break down. The inspector is very cold and does
not give out any emotional support when the characters break down.

His commanding and authoritative nature is used in a confident and
effective way. This helps the play to move on positively. For example,
Priestley uses the inspector to make the order of events run in an
understandable and not confusing way. Which in a way sounds
unrealistic but the inspector makes it realistic.

With his authoritative characteristic there is also a dominant part of
him, cutting in while they talk several times. We see this in stage
directions, ‘cutting through massively’, ‘with authority’. He uses his
power to take charge of the characters, helping the storyline move
along.

Arthur Birling is a very contrasting character, his beliefs are
opposite of what Priestley’s are. Arthur Birling believes in two
things, high profits, low costs. He is full of pride and is a
hard-headed snobbish man- who believes money is everything. His
arrogance is seen clearly by the audience when he attempts to
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