In An Inspector Calls, Priestley portrays inspector goole as a mysterious man.
His name goole having the same pronunciation as “ghoul”, in other words a ghost/spirit. This suggests perhaps someone who has interest in death and maybe is sent as Eva’s afterlife to haunt the guilt of the birlings. He is an omniscient character meaning he has unlimited knowledge therefore explains the idea of him taking control of the situation and slowly breaking down the truth creating a story of “chain of events”.To start off, in act 1 Priestley conveys the appearance of inspector Goole through the use of stage directions . As the inspector enters, Priestley introduces him as ‘need not to be a big man, but he creates at once an impression of massiveness,solidity and purposefulness”. This line illustrates to us audience the importance of his role because he creates an impression of dominance.
This i say of because it is not the visuals of him that add tense but rather his presence/manner that creates a sense of fear towards its suspects. In other words, he overpowers the Birlings with his presence. Priestley empowers more of the character inspector goole by the use of the adjectives ” massiveness” “solidity” and “purposefulness”, which is a tricolon technique.
His “solidity’ suggests that he remains solid when characters breakout and he doesn’t get affected. The effect on the audience is that they would be curious to find out more of him and how he is going to develop the play. Another way priestley presents the role of inspector goole is through his dialogue, him (inspector goole) being priestley’s dramatic tool.
He controls the pace and tension in the play with “one person and one enquiry at a time” This reinforces the idea of authority. He methodically works and investigates chronologically from one person to another,developing the conversations all linking them up together to make a “chain of events” therefore he creates tension and suspense. The repetition of the noun “one” recommend that a person is protruding to express their guilt in many ways. It suggests to us how he does things his way.In act 2, priestley conveys his socialist views through inspector goole using him as a mouthpiece. During his conversation with mr Birling, he comments ” Public men, Mr Birling have responsibilities as well as privileges” , which signifies the class division and inequality. This shows that he Wealth and social standings needs to be used properlyTowards the end, Inspector Goole delivers a message to the birlings, almost as if him being a god-like figure giving a lecture. In his final speech he mentions “We don’t live alone, we are members of one body, we are responsible for each other”.
This simply highlights Priestley’s socialist ideals as he is trying to reference that we are all part of one group/community, so we should help one another especially those who are in need and vulnerable. He states “members of one body” as if referring to a human body where if one of the organs don’t work then the rest of the body does not function, meaning we, everyone should work together to prevent any difficulty in life.Furthermore, the pronoun “we” suggests everyone has responsibilities including him. The term “member” is utilized as its a way of saying that you are a part of something special. From this quotation, priestley shows how powerful inspector goole is by portraying the social responsibilities that we have to look after.
This evaluates to us audience how everyone should behave morally and not let the harsh reality beat you down.In addition to act 3, priestley develops the importance of inspector goole through a vivid but honest speech. Inspector Goole’s closing line states “If men will not learn that lesson then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish”. This quotation simply indicates the consequences of not obeying the social responsibility of each other and reinforces the idea of people need to learn how to cope with such conditions or else they’ll result battling in hell-like catastrophe. This meaning priestley indicating before the horror of ww1 (when the play was set in 1912) and during the ww2 (when the pay was written in 1945). This shows that the problem of the ruling classes is that they did not learn the lessons of the first world war resulting in massive slaughter in ww2. In reference to inspector goole’s importance, priestley uses him to communicate and send his message and viewpoint to the audience, making the character seem like a prophet.
This last line is seen as a warning for the future. Furthermore, the use of ‘fire’ and ‘blood’ gives the audience a vivid imagery and leaves them thinking about our responsibility and what it could result to if we disobey.In conclusion, inspector Goole plays a really important part in the play as he is the main character besides Eva. As i mentioned before, he is Priestley’s socialist voice, his vector and his mouthpiece.His function was to make a change towards the selfishness of wealthy privileged people for example the birlings. Goole acts as the conscience of the birling family, where not only does he force them to admit and take blame but also tests their relationship strengths as a family.
Overall, i think that Priestley is successful when it comes to displaying his socialist views and ideas because he uses dramatic dialogue, stage directions and characterization to show how everyone should be treated equally/fairly, no matter who they are and which class they are from.