How does Priestley present the inspector in the play?
Priestley presents the inspector as a man who enjoys allowing people to feel intimidated by his presence. This is shown in the quote: “He creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness.” This infers that although he may not be ‘massive’, he gains satisfaction from creating an impression of this. The word ‘solidity’ implies that he is a well kept together and reliable man, that perhaps he has the capability of making a point without losing his temper. Also, ‘purposefulness’ gives the impression that he is a determined and strong-willed man; that he will not fail to reach his aim, even on the face of difficulty. Priestley’s intentions may have been to create a man with good morals that he can voice his views and opinions through as during the 1940’s socialism was quite frowned upon and so expressing his views through a play would’ve been quite a safe option.
The inspector is seen as a man with integrity and a sense of authority. This is shown in the quote: “Yes but why are you saying that to him?--
I know, somehow he makes you.”
The above quote is said by Sheila Birling and is directed at Gerald Croft when he confesses to the inspector what exactly he did to Eva Smith. I thought it was an appropriate quote to choose as it shows how the inspector has a certain power over them; how he can enable them to confess their secrets without them even realising. This shows that the inspector is discreet and professional with his methods and that although they are of higher class than him, in this environment the inspector is the one with the most influence and power. Perhaps Priestley may have done this in order to publicise that you do not have to be of higher class to have authority and that society in those days should have took better notice of this. Priestley may have wanted equal perspectives of all class’.
The way the inspector speaks in An Inspector Calls develops throughout...
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