The Function of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

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The Function of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

J.B Priestly was a British journalist, novelist, playwright and essayist. He was born in 1894 in Bradford and died in 1984. The play "An Inspector Calls" is about a family who, each member without knowing, have participated in a young girl's suicide. Inspector Goole makes every member of the family realise that they have played a part in killing the girl.

At the beginning of the play the Birlings and Gerald Croft are having an engagement celebration dinner in the evening. The Inspector calls round half way through the dinner to inform them of the suicide and ask them a few questions.

The audience expects quite an exciting
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The way he enters on to the stage and the first things he says are very important as they give the audience their first impressions of him. It should make them think he dominates the stage and all of the other characters. The play was directed so that when the Inspector walks onto the stage he brings truth, which is symbolised with bright lights. The lights seem to open up the room and interrupt everything that is going on so far to reveal the real storyline.

"The Inspector enters…before actually speaking"

The other characters, when they first meet him, think that he is very rude and arrogant. Mr Birling becomes quite angry with the fact that the Inspector has just walked in and demanded to speak with him and his family. Being a man of high importance he does not expect that. Mr Birling tries to stay in control of the situation and tries to scare the Inspector by telling him about how powerful he is. Straight away this shows that he feels threatened by the inspector. This causes dramatic tension between both of them that carries on throughout the play. This tells us that both of their characters are quite dominant and that they like to stay in control:

"Lord Mayor here two

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