What Is The Function Of The Inspector

1094 words - 5 pages

What Is The Function Of The Inspector In 'An Inspector Calls'?

Inspector Goole is the eponymous character in An Inspector Calls' by J.B Priestley who has many functions. Primarily, he is introduced to the play to interrogate the Birling Family and Gerald Croft, but Priestley also uses him to move the plot forward and as a device for the writer to voice his opinion, furthermore he controls movement on stage, encourage the characters and audience to learn from their mistakes and to create moments of tension and mystery.

The Inspector makes the characters confess their actions and reveal what he seems to already know for example, at the end of Act One, when Gerald is discussing to Shelia ...view middle of the document...

The Inspector also controls speech and movement on stage, for example as I have explained above he controls the speech as he is making them confess their connection to the death of Eva Smith but he also controls movement, for example at the start of Act Three:
Eric Could I have a drink first?'
Birling No!'
Inspector (Firmly) Yes! I know - he's your son and this is your house but look at him. He needs a drink now just to see him through.
Birling (to Eric) All Right, go on.'
There are many other instances that this occurs in the play - atshould be punished severely by telling her the story in an incredibly exaggerated way and then revealing that it was Eric who was the father. In addition, after some very strong comments he turns Mr Birling who only seems to care about his and his companies' reputation over to sympathise with the girl after he has been commenting on how he had every right to do what he did:

“Rubbish! If you don't come down sharply enough on these people, they'd soon be asking for the world.”
Then later on in the story:
Listen, I'd give thousands'
Going to an extreme of controlling the actions on stage, because of the way that he reveals Gerald's story, he turns Shelia against him and Shelia joins in interrogating him as the Bad Cop',
Shelia That's probably about the best thing you've said tonight. At least it's honest. Did you go and see her every night?'
You can really feel the spite and anger behind this comment and she is the woman that Gerald is supposed to be getting married to.

The Inspector creates moments of tension in the play, mainly at the end of Acts One and Two where something happens and the audience is waiting for someone to confess their relation to the death.
Inspector holds up a hand. We hear the front door. They wait, looking towards the door. Eric enters, looking extremely pale and distressed. He meets their inquiring stares. Curtain falls quickly.
At this moment, the audience...

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