How does Priestly make the inspector such a dramatic character?
Before the First World War there was a huge class divide between the middle and working class. The working class had little money and poorly paid jobs, whereas the middle class had property, owned businesses and were wealthy. The rich were getting richer and the poor where getting poorer. The war changed this for a period of time; rich people had to experience what life was like for the working class due to the collective war effort. J B Priestly wrote the play to highlight the divide of the classes. He wanted the middle class to realise they had a social responsibility to the working class. In order to have a reformed society. Priestly wanted his audience to think and to consider what life would be like if they went back to Edwardian times. He is giving them a chance to change their ways. Priestly needs a dramatic and powerful character because the Inspector is used as a social conscience not only for the Birlings but for the audience and even society of the time.
Priestly makes the Inspector seem dramatic as soon as he enters. Even before we have met him we know that life in the Birling household is about to change dramatically. The audience sense the change in mood when the doorbell rings and Edna arrives announcing “An Inspector’s here.” As soon as this is said the mood changes from a happy celebratory group to a tense, confused and nervous atmosphere. The name “Inspector Goole,” immediately transmits unease through the audience they can sense this is not going to be an ordinary Inspector. The name Goole also suggests that there is something unusual about the Inspector maybe there is something ghoulish about him or something super natural the Inspectors name alone conjures up many connotations into our minds. The way the Birling’s react to the arrival of the Inspector is another example of how, before meeting him we know the Inspector is a dramatic character. Even without meeting The...
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