I will be talking about the significance of inspector goole and how Priestley uses him as a main mouthpiece.(ACT 1) One of the ways we are shown Inspector goole’s significances is how he tries to defend the victim and in this case “Eva Smith”.
“They might.But after all it’s better to ask for the earth than to take it.” When the inspector states the word “world” people often think of the world as a very vast thing. So when Mr.Birling says “she asks for the world” he believes she is asking for something that is way too extreme for someone of “her class”, which then relates to the theme of class and how people had different mindsets of statuses back in 1945 (when the play was written), and how if you are a lower class you aren’t in the position to ask for things.
Conjointly, when he declares “than to take it”, it demonstrates to us that he knows more than what he is saying and foreshadowing what happens later on when we find out that Eric steals 50 pounds from the office and Priestly compares the two classes. Eric of a higher class doesn’t understand how hard it is to earn money and takes it for granted because he was born into a wealthy family. However, Eva (from a lower class) asks for money because she understands how difficult it is to earn it. That is what makes the inspector so significant because he knows all of the chain of events without having to ask anyone. In addition, the effect it has on the audience is that the audience can relate and understand Eva Smith for asking for the money because she was thinking like someone from a newer generation, that it is okay to ask for a raise if you are in a lower class. Where as not so much with Mr.Birling because of his mind set from the older generation.
The inspector is used as a mouthpiece of Priestly and his intention was for the audience from a newer generation to understand the mindset of Eva Smith and to understand the generation gap as well and how people used to think in 1912 / 1945.(ACT 1) Additionally, Inspector Goole is significant because he has a certain tactic to get everyone to confess.”One person and one line of enquiry at a time.” We can see from this that the inspector is ordering them them to listen to him, to show that he is in charge and gives him power over them. Priestly does this to show that although the inspector may be from a lower class he still has more power over the birling family (who are seen to be from a higher class). Also the term “one” is repeated twice, which shows confidence when the inspector speaks.
When the term “enquiry” is stated we automatically think of the statement “enquiry is power” and how when he asks questions or answers them, we associate back to the idea of the inspector having power.This then links to the theme ‘social change’ as it shows Priestly’s point of view (the inspector as his mouthpiece) that the idea of people from a lower class being under people from a higher class, in any way is no longer there. It conveys to the audience that we are all one community, and there’s no such thing as one individual being in any way lower the another; his intentions then demonstrating to us that we must socially change. This proves inspector goole’s significance.
(ACT 2) Adding on to that, the inspector uses guilt as a way to get the family members to confess.”Then the next time you imagine it, just remember that this girl was going to have a child.” When he says “going to have a child” he was trying to make them feel responsible for what they have done and to try and remind them that because of their selfish actions two lives have been lost not just one. Also, he tries to put Sybil and Arthur in Eva Smiths shoes because they know how difficult it is to raise a child.
As for everyone else, he wanted them to comprehend how it is easier said than done to raise a child. This then interfaces to the theme ‘responsibility’ and how inspector wanted them to realize that their actions altered the life of another human being in a negative way, causing the audience to feel a sense of remorse towards Eva Smith and make them think twice when they do something to someone. That was Priestley’s intention.
The fact that the inspector can have such an emotional impact that allowed them to reflect is quite significant. (ACT 2) Furthermore, the inspector foreshadows what will happen next in the play. “I warn you, you’re making it worse for yourself” The term “warn” proves that he is warning them for a reason foreshadowing the real inspector who will be on his way.
Additionally, the word “warn” hints that there is a possible danger that will materialize. Likewise, the term “worse” conveys that the situation they are in is already undesirable, however it will be “worse” if they continue to do what they’re doing. This then links to the theme ‘responsibility’ and how inspector goole is ‘warning’ them to take responsibility for their actions or they will face terrible consequences. Therefore, presenting Priestley’s intentions on making the audience realize that actions have consequences. Making the audience feel a sense of guilt. This then makes inspector goole significant in the sense that his words can affect the audience as well as the characters.
(ACT 3) Also, inspector goole announces specific things that foreshadows the near future. “And my trouble is – that i haven’t much time.” The phrase “trouble” proves that there will be issues if they don’t move things along quickly. “My” manifests that HE is doing something insubstantial and shouldn’t be in that specific place. This phrase also foreshadows the fact that the real inspector will soon call making the audience a shred suspicious. Inspector goole feels responsible to state his crucial point before the real inspector comes, associating to the theme ‘responsibility’ and socialism because he tries to help and warn them and not just leave as a capitalist would do.
This proving Priestley’s intentions on showing his socialist point of view to the audience and how we should help each other; making the audience feel responsible too. This is why he is significant… he is Priestley’s mouthpiece.(ACT 3) Finally, the inspector gets straight to his point and makes a powerful, reflecting exit. “And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.Goodnight.” “The time will soon come” expresses that he has been doing everything for a reason and “will” ensures that. Ag ain foreshadowing the real inspectors arrival. “Men” indicates that he is referring to everyone and that everyone shall be punished for their actions, not only them.
“Taught” is used to convey that Priestly is comparing this occurrence to school and how you learn things and you reflect; and to be “taught” is to be shown how things are done if you can’t do it by yourself. The word “fire” represents the suffering they will go through because fire is often to be thought of as painful and may leave a very painful scar mentally and physically. “Fire and blood and anguish” all together is very powerful because of the rule of three. All three words representing suffering and pain about their consequences. This then relates to the theme ‘responsibility’ and how you will deal with serious consequences if not learning from mistakes. That being Priestley’s intention to get through to the audience.
The fact that the inspector exits leaving a reflecting impact on the audience and characters is significant.In conclusion, the inspector is quite significant because of all the themes he represents. (responsibility, socialism, and social change). Priestley uses the inspector to get his intentions and viewpoints on certain situations out. He uses powerful language to emphasize certain emotions to the audience and see where he is coming from.