Role of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls

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Consider the role of the Inspector in “An Inspector Calls”? And what we learn about Priestley’s view on society through the character and his effect on others.

The traditional Englishmen’s home is his castle goes out the window, just so that inspector Goole can solve a mystery. A mystery, that by his line of questioning, he already knows the answer to.

An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 by John Boynton Priestley, just as the Second World War was ending and Britain was looking forward to life without war. The play is set in 1912, when Britain still had its Empire and was a wealthy country before the First World War – it was also the year that the Titanic sunk. Class structure was very strict and some people were willing to risk everything to enter a higher class. Strikes over poor working conditions in factories were common and only rich men who owned property were allowed to vote.

Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on 13 September 1894, his father was a schoolmaster and his mother died later that year. In later life Priestley took a job as a very junior clerk at the local wool company. When the First World War broke out, he enrolled in the infantry, served in France and encountered a near death experience in Germany. On leaving the army, Priestley finally accepted a place at Cambridge University to read modern history and political science. He wrote many successful novels and plays before and after the Second World War. J B Priestley was a socialist, he believed that everyone should be equal and share everything between each other.

In “An Inspector Calls” all of the characters are led to believe that they are all partly responsible for the suicide of a young working class woman. ”An Inspector Calls” is a ...

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Only the younger generation have learned anything from the incident, this is that you should not make the same mistake that previous people have made. The older generation have learned nothing “we’ve been had” says Mr Birling, proving that the older generation think that is quite funny and that it must have been someone having a joke.


The inspector represents J.B.Priestley and the socialist idea. Priestley hopes we have learned about socialism and that what can happen in a chain of events theory. Priestley hopes that we have learned that everyone should be equal and share their possessions. he also wanted us to learn from our mistakes. I have learned about socialism and about life in 1912. my views haven’t really changed because I didn’t know about socialism before. my view is that the play is a decent play, but not one that I would go and see.
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