J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

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J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

“An Inspector Calls”, by J.B Priestley, deals with social conflict

upon so many levels. On the surface it is a simple tale of how one man

changes the moral perceptions of an upper-class family, but when seen

in a different light, is much more. Priestley has used a simple

domestic setting as a masquerade; to portray in short, the effect of

unjust power usage and the amount of destruction brought about by

discriminative ethics. – These morals are extremely relevant in many

situations today, and have been used to try and show how life should

change - aiming to get it to a point where all people have equal

rights and opportunities within a system that is fair and just.

The sole character used within “An Inspector Calls” to directly

channel this message across, is that of Inspector Goole. He has been

used as Priestley’s puppet, to challenge the figures with political

authority and do so, with the backing of a truly ‘socialist’ opinion.

Priestley has enabled the Inspector to do this through four ‘dramatic

functions’ he has given him within the play. In this essay, I will

explore these ‘dramatic functions’ and specifically his roles as a

protagonist, narrator, social commentator and educator. – All of these

positions, used to draw a specific reaction from the audience, and in

this Essay, I will explore just how.

Paragraph 2 – Information about Priestley and the background of the

play –

1st Re-draft

Priestley, the author of “An Inspector Calls” was born and raised in

Bradford, among the ha...

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politicisation and the class denominations being less obvious within

society. – Therefore, I think that the morals will still remain

relevant, regardless of the period of time and the audiences listening

to them, although their exact effect of education will differ


Overall, when stripped down to the basic elements of the play,

Inspector Goole is nothing but a mere devise used to convey

Priestley’s political opinion across to the audience. In every action

he takes part in, this is reinforced, as he brings the refreshing

contrast of socialism into the previous dominion of a Capitalist

world. His character stands as a symbol for many different levels and

fundamentally represents the hope of equality in a class-dominated

society, thus conveyed through his four dramatic functions within the

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