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What Is The Function Of The Inspector In The Play 'an Inspector Calls'? Consider What He Represents, The Way He Affects Structure And Pace, His Effect On The Characters And His Effect On The Audience.

2012 words - 8 pages

"An Inspector Calls" was written by JB Priestley in 1945. It begins as a classic detective thriller, but later as it unfolds it can also be interpreted as a morality play. "An Inspector Calls" is set in the imaginary North Midlands industrial town, Brumley. It was set before the First World War in 1912.During this time, Britain was a capitalist country. Capitalism is an economic system based on private wealth such as ownership of businesses, factories and transport services. Priestley, however, was a socialist. He believed in a political system that aimed to create a society with no class system. During Priestley's life, he saw a great many changes. He joined the army when war broke out in 1914. He saw death, hatred and blood in the trenches then narrowly escaped death when a shell exploded next to him. The war in 1914 mixed upper and lower classes together, demolishing the divide between them. No matter what class soldiers came from, they all worked together to fight for their country and Priestley believed that this should apply to everyday life, everyone should be responsible for each other.In this essay I will outline how the Inspector influences the development of the play, influences the characters and the audience and what he represents.In "An Inspector Calls", the Inspector represents the new socialist way of thinking, which was Priestley's way of thinking. The Inspector is a puppet that Priestley uses to express his opinions of society and capitalism. The Inspector was created as a socialist with the same political views of the class system. This theme of socialism versus capitalism is explored in more depth as the play develops. The Inspector?s socialist ideals can be seen throughout the play as he speaks to the characters. One speech in particular, found near the end of the play when the Inspector is leaving, conveys what socialism is about."Eva Smiths and John Smiths left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think say and do.?"In this quotation, the Inspector is saying that everybody should be aware of how their actions affect the lives of people around us. We should think before we act as you never know what the repercussions could be.Priestley uses the Inspector to talk about the importance of community, respectability and hypocrisy and responsibility and power. In the final speech made by the Inspector, he uses the word 'we' to put across the importance of community and helping all members of the society regardless of class. At the time when An Inspector Calls is set, members of the higher classes made every effort to uphold a respectable image. The scandal that is uncovered in the play would have destroyed the reputation of a reputable Edwardian upper class family. They would have attempted to present a good image to the outside world, appearing as a respectable family that has good morals and cares for those in need. In reality, most...

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