How does Priestley present the Inspector to the audience?

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Essay Title: How does Priestley present the Inspector to the audience? You
should refer to his actions, language and moral message.
1. Explain very briefly what you aim to do in this essay.
When studying a play one the most important areas of focus is the characters...
The Inspector is particularly important because he can be seen to be a mouthpiece for
Priestley's own views...
2. You need to write about the context (background) of the play
"An Inspector Calls" is set in.... and was written...
What was society like at that time?
What was Priestley's political view? What did he believe in? Who was he attacking?
Explain how one purpose of the Inspector visit to the Birling family is to encourage them (and
the audience) to change their attitude towards other people.
3. Write about our first impressions of the Inspector
When does the Inspector arrive? What is significant about his timing?
Describe his physical appearance ­ how does this affect the audience?
Is he a figure of authority? How does he manage to achieve this?
4. Write about how the Inspector behaves
He questions each character individually
He refuses to be impressed by or ordered around by Mr Birling
He takes control of the situation ­ he decides who sees the photograph
Make sure you look at stage directions ­ what do these reveal about him?
5. Look at the language he uses
Give examples of emotive language. Why does he use this? What does he want the characters
and audience to feel?
Look at his blunt style of speaking ­ why do you think he is so direct?
How are his speeches structured? Look at his final sermon ­ what is the purpose of this?
6. Write about how the Inspector affects other characters
How does the Inspector affect the younger generation? (Sheila and Eric)
What does he want the Birling family to realise?
7. In your conclusion you need to include your own opinion of the Inspector and how you think he
contributes to the play.
Who is he? Does it matter if he is real? What does his name sound similar to?
his message is...
he is an important character because...

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