The Appearance and Approach of The Inspector Serves More Than One Purpose for J.B Priestly, discuss?
„Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!” (Workers of the world, Unite!)
- Karl Marx
It can be assumed that Priestley’s overall motivation for writing ‘An Inspector Calls’ is to promote a socialist worldview. In the play, Priestley uses a lot of his political views in the Inspectors speeches by using him almost as a mouthpiece for his own socialism. But what else does the image of the Inspector as a character represent? From Priestley’s description, it seems he is a voice of conscience for the unrepresented classes, such as Eva Smith, representing their point of view where they can’t against the bourgeoisie – The Birling’s. Priestley’s object is for his play feeling at least somewhat more companionate and conscious for their fellow man.
A clever device used by Priestly is the stark contrast between Birling and the Inspector, for example, and he does so to make the polar attitudes of the two of them that much clearer. Birling’s comfortable and privileged world view we see from the beginning is challenged the second the Inspector steps through the door, he almost seems to be coming from a different world, and the image of the girl we are instantly presented with just refuses to fit into their upper-middle class lifestyle and such an image is never let slip as the Inspector continues to reinforce that same image throughout his interrogation. This idea of an unshakable image is reminiscent of the conscience that the Inspector represents, the idea that a conscience will continue to come back to you and especially when it is actively repressed, the imagery is unavoidable. The contrast between the Inspector and Birling is massively important, and the two would seem far less right and left without the other to be constantly compared to, a sophisticated technique adopted by many playwrights including Shakespeare.
The moment itself at which the Inspector...