The Inspector

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  • The Inspector
    • Personality
      • He's more than a police inspector
        • It is never explained why he has so much knowledge or power - he could be a ghost or represent the spirit of a religious or moral figure
        • Eric and Sheila realise his moral judgement is just as important as his legal power to tell them off which is all Mr and Mrs Birling are concerned about
        • He claims that Eva left a "rough sort of diary" although her identity isn't certain and the audience aren't even sure she exsisted
      • He is classless and from a different world
        • talks about taboo subjects such as sex and politics
        • doesn't follow etiquette for example he repeats and pauses
        • He seems to come from outside the class system as he does not acknowledge the Birlings' ideas about class and instead thinks classes shouldn't ignore each others needs
      • Authority
        • He takes control and leads the events - others are confused but he never is
        • He interrupts people a lot which makes people take him seriously and makes everything he says sound more important
      • Priestly uses him as a mouthpiece
        • Priestley's own socialist views are reflected in the Inspector
        • The Inspector's speech could also be Priestley speaking directly to the audience
    • Themes
      • Social Class - Priestley has set the play in the Birlings' dining room
        • In 1912 only well off households had a dining room - this makes it a symbol of middle class lifestyle
    • Quotes
      • "We are members of one body" Act 3
      • "but she died in misery and agony - hating life"

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