What is the role of the inspector and what happens in the rest of the play?

Essay by emmajohn July 2004

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An inspector calls is set in 1912 but was written in 1945. The story is about an inspector interrogating a family about the death of a girl. He speaks to them one at a time and shows them a photograph or Eva. He gets them to confess what they did and he convinces they that they all helped to kill her.

Inspector Goole's name is an obvious pun on 'ghoul' a spirit or a ghost. The name makes him sound ghostly and he seems very confident when he speaks. When he walks in the room he isn't a big man but made to seem big "he creates an impression of massiveness and purposefulness." So we know that he has come for a specific reason in which yet we do not know. He knows what he is doing and he thinks he has a lot of power over the Birling family when Mrs Birling says "you have no power to change my mind" and the inspector replies "yes I do."

He also speaks "carefully, weightily and has a disconcerting way of looking hard at the person before actually speaking." By this I think that he does this to show he means business and wants to get down to it.

He pieces together all the information he said he read from the dead girl's diary and tells the each member of the family a tiny bit of information and they then start to confess to what they have done. He only deals with one person at a time and controls the pace and tension. Slowly the story of Eva's life is unravelled. He is very mysterious and seems to know what is going to happen before it actually does.

He shows the photograph to one person at a time and the audience...