What do you think is the importance of Inspector Goole and how does Priestley present him?
In JB Priestley’s play ‘An Inspector Calls’, Priestley portrays Inspector Goole as a dominant, forceful, admirable character with strong socialist views, just like the views of Priestley. Many say Inspector Goole is a voice of Priestley and others say he is used by Priestley as a vehicle to deliver socialist views, he’s the engine of the play, keeping things rolling by asking pushy questions. Inspector Goole is a socialist and this is one of the main reasons why he clashes with both Mr and Mrs Birling throughout the play. The inspector is a threat to Mr Birling as he is used to being in control however when the inspector arrives, there is a definite power struggle between the two. Priestley shows this with a use of stage directions: “Cutting through, massively” This being the first stage direction the inspector is given immediately foreshadows a battle for leadership to the audience. The adverb “massively” shows that it’s not done discreetly and reminds both Mr Birling and the audience that the inspector is in control, it also shows despite the Inspector being an outsider he still takes over and is a very authoritative character. Priestley’s main message in the play is social responsibility and uses Inspector Goole to spread his ideas. Firstly his name, Inspector Goole, ‘Goole’ is a small fishing village in England, in fishing villages everyone know each other and are very friendly due to the small population, this reflects social responsibility as everyone will look out for each other in places like Goole. Also his speech at the end of the play about social responsibility is a clear warning not just to the Birlings but to the audience. He tells them they must be responsible for one another or it will end in “fire, blood and anguish” this list of adjectives create imagery of war, The inspector presented as omniscient, by knowing all the answers to all questions he asks,...
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