How Priestly Uses the Inspector to Create Tension and Suspense in An Inspector Calls

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How Priestly Uses the Inspector to Create Tension and Suspense in An Inspector Calls

J.B Priestly wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945 just when the welfare state began. J.B Priestly set his play in Edwardian Britain 1912; however Edwardian Britain society was still very Victorian in its attitude and structure. For example the rich, who were privileged, were meant to help out the poor through charities, as there was no welfare state. As well as the fact that social benefits did not exist at that time, but they chose not to. It was classed as the Victorian ways. Rich women did set up charities but they got to decide who they money went too.

We can see how the social structure of the rich helping the
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Eva holds fast to principles. She does not become a prostitute at any stage in her life. She does want to marry Eric after she has found out she is pregnant because she knows he is not in love with her and that it would ruin his social status. Lastly she does not accept money from Eric when she finds out he has been stealing it from his father's office.

The first time when inspector Goole enters he creates suspense. Firstly his name is a pun on ghoul, similar to ghost. As well as we never learn the first name for him. This makes it even more suspicious. Suspense is created by the fact that he breaks up the family party and takes all the joy and excitement away. Somehow he knows it all, what the truth is and what a lie is. His character is constant throughout the play and he never changes. He is looked at as God as he some how points the finger at their conscience "One Eva smith has gone but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva smiths and john smiths still left with us.

Priestly develops the suspense in two ways, firstly by the way Inspector Goole speaks so slowly and spoon feeds us the story line bit by bit, secondly by how he has a disconcerting habit of starring hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking. It makes the characters feel uneasy and it creates tension for us because we as the audience want to know why

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