At the end of Act One Sheila keeps saying “Why – you fool –he knows, of course he knows” this confuses the audience as to who or what the Inspector is. The Inspector ends in one word “Well”. This last one word could lead the story to what happens next, does Gerald reveal what he knows and if not what will the Inspector do. It grasps the audience and makes them really want to carry on watching to see what happens next. The tone is solemn and calm.
This makes it all the more riveting. Sheila by this point has completely changed her language from the language she used at the beginning of the play. At the beginning of the play, she used the word “daddy” to call her father. Daddy is a very childish word. Now Sheila is talking seriously and independently. Like an adult. This also shapes the audience as it indicates to them that the situation is now more important and that it is a much more tense, serious situation.
The Inspector only shows one character at a time the photograph to create the atmosphere of uncertainty. He thinks that there might “…be a serious reason” for this. By creating this atmosphere the audience is very eager at what could happen and it also lets the plot unravel slowly keeping the audience interested. Furthermore, it can be suggested that she may not be the same girl for each person. The point of doing this is to show that it does not matter if it is the same girl, all that matters is that they all oppress people in society. As the Inspector is a catalyst in the play, he uses this to create the various atmospheres and environments I have described. Although he is the catalyst he is not the person who changes the morals of the Birling family, he merely helps the change for the better.
The contrast between Mr Birling and the Inspector is very significant throughout the play and plays a major role in helping the play to achieve the moral values it benefits from. Hidden meanings and messages are scattered during the play and Priestly does very well to get them all across to the audience. Dramatic devices are a very important part of the play and Priestly does very well to manipulate the audiences response. The audience will expectantly leave the play with the Socialist views and think that the Capitalist views are immoral. Priestly succeeds in this by slyly using the dramatic devices to make the disadvantages of Capitalism stand out. At no point was there a dramatic device which highlight a bad point of Socialism. Only the good points would be picked up on which makes the play extremely effective at the task Priestly set it to.
The Inspector is the embodiment of Priestly’s views. Priestly is very successful in making the Inspector very ominous and something not to mess with but take very seriously. Also the fact that the Inspector is a fake and no-one knows who he is and why he did this to the Birling family, conveys yet more morals, it shows that this person was trying to do what is right and for some reason was sent there to help the Birlings and Croft to see their faults in life so that it can stop.
The Inspector is the embodiment of Priestly’s views, because of this, the Inspector is very successful in what he was meant to achieve as Priestly wrote him that way in order to convey socialism to his audience. His views were also very successful because of the achievement of the Inspector in the play. As we live our lives, people enter it and leave it just as we have entered their lives. Some just come and go, but some leave footprints on our hearts and they shall be with us forever, our life is shaped by the people we meet, our friends, enemies, teachers or relatives, “We do not live alone”.