How does the arrival of inspector goole undermine the natual paths of authority in an inspector calls

7 July 2016

We see the power shift in Act I as the action progress through the super knowing power of the Inspector. His extraordinary knowledge of the events produces a Dramatic Irony that pulls the audience in; they know, he knows! He is in total control of the pace and the tension as he questions one character at a time and finishes off the act with the chilling, ‘Well. ’ The Inspector is mysterious and seems to know what is going to happen before it does.

An example of this is the timings of his entrances and exits, they all seem to be when the members of the family are being foolish, such as when he enters at the beginning. Mr Birling is making is making his speech “… a man has to make his own way- has to look after himself – and his family too, of course, when he has one – and so long as he does that he won’t come to much harm. But the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you’d think that everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed together like bees in a hive – community and all that nonsense.

How does the arrival of inspector goole undermine the natual paths of authority in an inspector calls Essay Example

But take my word for it, you youngsters – – that a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own – and -” we hear a sharp ring of a front door bell. ’ This strikes me as slightly odd because we soon find out that the Inspector believes the opposite of what Mr Birling does. He is like a mystical creature, and more and more mysterious things throughout the play, its like the Inspector is a mystical creature a ghoul perhaps? The power shifts as the action progresses by the Inspector controlling the pace and tension by dealing with one line of enquiry at at time.

He works systematically: he likes to deal with “one line of enquiry at a time” His method is to confront a suspect with a piece of information and then make them talk – or, as Sheila puts it “he’s giving us the rope – so that we’ll hang ourselves. As he gets each person to admit their role in ‘killing’ Eva Smith he puts them in an incredible amount of self doubt, guilt and shame, thereby gaining control of each member of the Birling family one by one. There is a lot of tensions as each member of the family is found to have played a part in Eva’s death.

New pieces of information contribute to the story being constructed. The audience is interested in how each character reacts to the revelations. Once again the Inspector undermines the natural paths of authority within the household gaining power. The Inspector is the major dramatic device used by J. B. Priestley to move on the plot and control not only the pace but the dramatic tension. The play in is “real time” in other word the story lasts exactly as long as the play is on on stage.

As soon as the Inspector enters the stage the tension mounts. Priestly says that the lighting should be pink and intimate but as soon as the the Inspector arrives the lighting should become brighter and harder. The tension continues to mount throughout the numerous changes in tone. As first Mr Birling and then Sheila is found to have played a part in Eva’s death. The Inspector has total control at the end of act 1. As seen in Priestley’s stage directions

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