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Inspector Calls

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65 
  • Words: 1888
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Who is the inspector?



The play “An inspector calls” written by J B Priestley. Inspector Goole is a very mystifying and baffling main character in the play. Who is he and what does he epitomize: is he Eva smith, the voice of the author, the character conscience, god, some one that can foretell the future or is he a ghost.   The theme of this short play is that we all have responsibility for ourselves and also for others but also that within society there should be equality.



We are immediately drawn to the names Eva Smith and Inspector Goole. Let’s firstly take: the name Goole, it suggests that the inspector is ghost like, and goes about inspecting the other characters in very peculiar and curious manner. Eva is very similar to Eve for she was the first woman; Smith is a very common surname. Together the names represent the typical working clad as the inspector says

“But just remember this, one Eva smith has gone – but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smith and John Smiths still left with us”

Priestley is showing the Birling’s just how there decisions affect other people’s lives, sometimes for the worst sometimes for the good and that as an employer they have responsibility for society.



The play is set in 1912 and has a fundamental moral about socialism. This is definitely because J B Priestley was a great socialist; responsibility is often mentioned in the play and a lot of Priestley’s views are aired. Birling’s remarks such as

“The Titanic – she sails next week forty thousand six hundred tons – forty thousand six hundred tons – New York in 5 days and every luxury- and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable”

Making himself sound so perceptive when to the audience he is such a fool; as the titanic sunk. Priestley depicts Mr Birling in this way because he is such a capitalist and believes in completely the opposite to Priestley. So Priestly had inserted the Inspector in the play to...

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