He has no assistant with him to help take notes, police officers generally work in twos. He also never asks a question that he doesn’t already no the answer to, but he never takes, or looks at, any notes. On page eleven the Inspector says “two hours ago a girl died” this is very peculiar because the Inspector would have had to go to at least three different places, file a report, search Eva Smiths apartment, read all of Eva Smith’s diary and memorise it then go to the Birlings house, in only two house that’s nearly impossible.
Eva Smith’s death is a big clue that the Inspector is not a real police Inspector, as I have already mentioned no court in the world would convict any of the Birlings of manslaughter or murder, they have done nothing lawfully wrong. The Inspector was more an inspector of morals, he is teaching them that they are behaving amorally and have to change, as Priestley believed that society had to change too. I think Sheila is the one who has a conscience or at least she gains one by the end of the play she starts to change from a conservative to a socialist in just a couple of hours this is possibly the Inspectors greatest triumph.
Eric also changed towards the end of the play unlike the others who change a little then revert to their old beliefs, Sheila and Eric stay the same and appear to be ready to keep to their new morality. I think this is a sort of metaphor for the future as young people are the future in many respects and the young people change for the better, this is an indication that the world is going to change and become more socialist. The Inspectors motives seem to have Priestley’s politics embodied in them.
Mr Birling is not a good leader though he thinks he is. I thing Priestley highlights this fact because he wants to portray Mr Birling as a typical conservative and show the conservative rule though it may seem strong and working it really is week and failing. Priestley wants the audience to think about change and see that the conservative rule is failing, because he feels once people see that conservatives are failing they will then move over to the socialist side, and socialism will save them.
He also wants them to think about how dangerous ignorance, complacency and capitalism is. Time is mentioned a lot through out the play because the inspector is trying to emphasize again that we don’t have very much time to change our ways. The Birlings don’t have very much time to change because I think that after the Inspector had left they reverted to their old ways that is why Eva Smith died as a warning, they had a chance to amend their ways and they ignored it.
The inspector seems to be an apparition or ghost I thing this because although on page seventeen he says “I am an inspector” which makes us think he is, but he does not act like a police inspector, he expresses an opinion which generally police inspectors don’t do. He sticks up for the workers and Eric especially over the workers pay. When the Inspection is over the Inspector appears to have achieved his goal, to change the Birlings for the better and open their eyes to society and how important it is.
When the inspector says “fire blood and anguish” Priestley is referring to the first and Second World War where millions of people were tortured, murdered or severely disabled both mentally and physically. I have already mentioned the elder Birlings, Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and also Gerald all revert back to their old beliefs where as Sheila and Eric both change their beliefs quite radically. I think Priestley changes the younger generation because he believed that things would be better in the future and as the younger generation symbolises the future so if they change so will the future.
I think Priestley conveys his socialist views to the audience through the character of the Inspector very cleverly he does not tell them how to think, but he show them a new way of thinking. I thing John Donne’s words are very inspiring and may have inspired Priestley quite a lot and probably helped him become a better person and a socialist ” no man is an island” is a good message, and more people should try and remember it. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section.