The Role of Inspector Goole in in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly
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The Role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls
Examine the role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls & study the impact his role has on the rest of the characters in the play.
Inspector Goole is the most important character in the play ‘An
Inspector Calls’ because he is the catalyst for the events that take place in the play. Priestley’s intensions were to reveal to his audience the social state of England in 1945. He felt that little had changed since the turn of the century. Preistley was a socialist and he very strongly believed that everyone should be equal. In this play
Preistley shows to the audience that at this time it was Socialist vs
Capitalist, and that everyone was separated in to social classes.
These…show more content…
Even though these 2 families are very powerful people themselves. The Inspector treats them equal as anyone else where as most people do, he doesn't treat them with a great deal of respect. He says to Mr Birling '"Puplic men, Mr Birling, have responsibilities as well as privilages."' I believe that he is talking to Mr Birling as if he was a child when saying that to him.
In the play Inspector Goole is a catalyst, the word catalyst means to speed somthing up. He gets the Birlings and Gerald to confess to being involved with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton in some way. Inspector Goole is very good at creating tension and drama. For example when someone asks he a question he will now answer it, he will just ask a question back.
He manages to break the family down and get them to own up to things.
'"one person and one line of inquiry at a time."'
this shows he he that he wants to deal with each individual sepratly so that he can break them down easier than if they were all united and could defend eachother. He never really does seem like a real policeman as he is very rude and arrogant. There is a lot of dramatic irony as we know he isn't a real inspector but the Birlings don't.
I think the in the play Preistly has used Inspector Goole to express the way he feels about the world. He shows us that at the time of this play it was very much Capatilism vs Socialism,
In this essay I will explain my opinion on how important the character of ‘Inspector Goole’ is on the 1945 play written by John Priestly ‘An Inspector Calls’. I will explain how he affects the other characters and the play in general.
The story starts off with Arthur Birling (Birling), a wealthy man and a local politician, celebrating along with his family the engagement of his daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, who’s father is competing with Birling’s company. This is a rather joyful time, Birling makes a speech saying ‘just because the Kaiser makes a few speeches or two you’ll hear people say war is inevitable and to that I say ‘Fiddlesticks!’ There is a lot of dramatic irony in this speech, including Birling saying that the titanic ‘will never sink’. Birling’s speech is interrupted by the arrival of Inspector Goole.
The Inspector arrives and informs the Birlings that a girl called Eva Smith has committed suicide. He says Eva’s diary names members of the Birling family. Suddenly the whole story changes, from it being a joyful celebration of an engagement into an interrogation. This tells us that at anytime anyone can appear at anytime and can have a significant affect on the story. The Inspector’s name is Goole, a play on the word ‘ghoul’ which has a significant affect later on in the play. Because his name is a play on the name ‘ghoul’, this tells us that the Inspector is a very mysterious character, not much is known about him, but yet the quote ‘the inspector need not be a big man but creates massiveness solidity and purposefulness’ tells us that he creates a big impression. The story then moves into the inspector interrogating each character who all has a big part in Eva’s death.
The inspector when interrogating makes her feel bad, repeating everything for more emphases (When Sheila admits she got Eva fired, Inspector says ‘You used the power you had to punish a girl just because she made you feel like that’). Sheila admits that she only conspired to get Eva fired because she was a ‘pretty working-class woman’. The inspector has made Sheila confess that she has a jealous and spiteful side. The inspector therefore was important in this instance because he made Sheila reveal a part of her character. The inspector then reveals that Eva was also known as Daisy Renton, which then triggers Gerald acting differently. Gerald admits that he met her in a theatre bar and installed her as his mistress. Sheila thanks him for speaking the truth but calls the engagement off. Thus making the inspector important because the reason that all the characters were at the house was because of the engagement and the inspector revealed that Gerald is a cheat. This opens up a dynamic that Gerald could be lying about other things as well. The inspector’s attitude to Birling tells us a lot. Birling is used to people being incredibly nice to him, but the inspector’s attitude is a no-nonsense attitude. For instance when Birling complains about Goole asking questions Goole replies ‘Its my duty to ask questions’. This makes the inspector important because it shows him having confidence to have none of Birling’s evasive tactics especially because of Birling’s social status.
He then starts interrogating Sybil (Mrs Birling) and identifies her as the head of the charity which Eva turned to for help. Sybil admits that she turned Eva down even though she was p
regnant. Despite this she remains that she didn’t do any wrong doing. ‘I only think she has herself to blame’ says Sybil.Thus making the inspector important because he makes Sybil reveal that she turned down Eva which tells us that she is an uncaring individual. Then the inspector then interrogates Eric who reveals that he raped Eva while drunk and stole £50 from his fathers business. This makes the inspector important because this tells us that Eric is a drunk young man who has a vicious, nasty side. The inspector reminds the Birlings that ‘If men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish’. This is an obvious reference to WW1 which would happen two years after the events of the play.
In Conclusion, the Inspector is very important in the play for number of reasons. Firstly, he makes the characters confess something which show their darker side (Eric raping Eva for example). These revelations have repercussions on the relationship between them and the other characters (Sheila no longer is engaged to Gerald). Secondly, he changes the whole play, before it was a celebration, then it turned into an interrogation regarding a girls ‘death’. He also changes the atmosphere for which every character is scared that something about them will be revealed and when it is revealed they stutter, putting the spotlight on that character. It could be said that the Inspector is of the supernatural nature. I say this because of his name Goole which is a play on ghoul (which means ghost). Plus his reference to the First World War. Finally, it could be said that the Inspector’s purpose in the play is to warn the Birlings of the real inspector interrogation and to accept responsibility for what they have done and to learn from it. Goole also forces the characters to question their very own life. All these reasons make the Inspector in my opinion very important in ‘An Inspector Calls’.