An Inspector Calls

To what extent do the charcters learn from their encounter with the inspector?

How far do members of the audience agree with him?

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 2
Add Yours

Part of the mystique of Inspector Goole is the possibility of multiple interpretations of his character and actions. When it comes down to it, it is not really about "agreeing" or "disagreeing" as much as it is about revering this mysterious figure who seems to be even supernatural.

When the Inspector arrives, his inquiries of the family are anything but typical of a member of law enforement. He speaks to no one alone, but rather enjoys watching the reactions of the group as a whole. He asks questions that lead the audience to understand he has a knowledge beyond human understanding.

The Inspector tells them all that it's his duty to ask questions, and that he never takes offence to those he speaks with. He also goes onto tell them that he doesn't see much of the chief constable (and no one asks why :-/ ?)

He fails to be alarmed by Birling's threats, and simply comes back with, “You sure of your facts?” - “Some of them - yes”. Not all, because not all have happened yet. It seems that Eva Smith is still alive.

The audience leans toward completely agreeing with the Inspector when it becomes evident that his concern is to uphold moral law--not for criminal law. He's impatient, very unlike a policeman who'd take his time because the Inspector hasn't "much time." Why hasn't he? And does his impatience have anything to do with the fact that he's capable of changing things if he has 'enough time?'

A police officer would take as much time as was needed. It is as if he needs to finish before the moment Eva will decide whether or not to end her life.

The Birlings' discovery that no such officer is on the local police force, combined with the fact he's told Sheila there's no reason for her to understand him........... leads to her later declaration of, “Well, he inspected us all right”

Does the audience agree with all of this......... well, I've used this play with my students afew times now, and they love it. The embrace the Inspector and they usually when asked compare him to a 'living conscience' but yet a spiritual being. They've never quite gotten me to understand that............ but they respect what he says and the way he treats the 'suspects."


An Inspector Calls