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Write About The Appropriateness Of The Title And In Which Ways Inspector Goole Is Central To The Play

1118 words - 5 pages

‘An Inspector Calls’ was written during the last year of the Second World War by J. B. Priestley, and was first performed in the Soviet Union in 1945. When it was first performed in the UK in 1946 it was labelled boring and one critic, Lionel Hale, who wrote for the Daily Mail, said it had a ‘fatal dead-end’. Despite this, Priestley was very successful and well-known for writing plays in a very short period of time. This essay will discuss how appropriate the title is, especially relating to Inspector Goole, and how far he is the central character of the play.
The title of the play has a lot of significance, because, from the moment that ‘An Inspector Calls’, the Birlings’ lives change ...view middle of the document...

After the Inspector exposes her to the hardships that Eva faced, Sheila starts to feel responsible and can understand that everyone there played a part in her suicide. Although the rest of her family do not feel the same way, and are resistant to the ideas of the Inspector, she manages to convince Eric up to a point that they are all responsible. Eric has been remarkably exposed to these things already, as opposed to the naivety of his sister, as he is a seasoned drinker and regularly attends the Palace Bar which was known to be quite rough. Having had a sheltered upbringing, Eric broke away from this and his experiences, along with the persuasion of Sheila and the Inspector, help him to see how his actions have had such a devastating effect on such a young girl. This would not have been brought about without the Inspector, as he challenged the views of a family who would not glance back on a member of a lower class. Sheila forced Eva to be discharged from Milwards, but it seems that she had not given this much of a thought since it had happened. In her outrage at Eva’s impertinence, she gave no consideration to the effect her actions could have had on the girl mentally. In this way the Inspector is the most central character to the play, because he started a chain of realisation which started with Sheila’s understanding, and this was essential for the main themes of the play.
It could be argued that there are other characters who are more central to the play than the Inspector. For example, although she does not actually star in the play, Eva is arguably the most important character, because without her, there would be no need for the Inspector. Eva is linked to everyone who the Inspector interrogated, but no one knew the Inspector even existed. The name ‘Goole’ is perhaps just a misspelling of ‘ghoul’ – an evil spirit or phantom, or a person morbidly interested in death or disaster, and this shows that perhaps the Inspector was merely a representation of the consciences of those interrogated. Also, it is their memory of Eva Smith which affects everyone, and any inspector could...

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