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An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley

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An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley "Priestley's play is unusual in that a character, the Inspector, could be said to direct the action of the play." This is a comment made by a theatre critic about the play "An Inspector Calls", and the character, Inspector Goole. By studying the play, I find that I can justify myself in agreeing with the critic's statement; that the Inspector does direct and control the action of the play. I am aware of how Priestley has incorporated various strategies and techniques of control into the character of the Inspector, which are use continuously throughout the play. Also, of Priestley's use of dramatic irony to cause reactions in the audience and to create certain feelings towards each character within the play. It is clear that the Inspector is used as a "mouthpiece" for Priestley's own views on the social structures in early 20th century England. I am tending to agree with the critic's comment. Inspector Goole can be described an enigmatic, determined and forceful. It is these characteristics, which ensure his control over the events of the play. His mysterious demeanour means that the family is not prepared for the way in which he speaks to them and behaves towards them. He is determined in his search for the full story and forceful in making each character face up to their guilt and responsibility. The Inspector refuses to be intimidated and doesn't back down when threatened, even by Birling's ultimate threat, that Chief Constable Roberts is "An old friend" and that they "play golf together sometimes." By this the Inspector is totally unfazed and replies dryly, "I don't play... ... middle of paper ... ... will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." This final speech made by Inspector Goole, enforces my belief that the Inspector is J.B.Priestley's "mouthpiece" for his social views and beliefs. In agreement with the theatre critic, I think that "Priestley's play is unusual in that a character, the Inspector, could be said to direct the action of the play." This is a valid comment. Priestley has created a dramatically successful, controlling character and makes use of dramatic irony to enable the Inspector to voice his own personal views effectively. He has done this by creating a character that puzzles the audience with his behaviour, controls the other characters with his manner and displays socialist values in his speeches. The theatre critic's comment is very true of the character of Inspector Goole.
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