When the inspector arrives the other characters are all very cheerful due to the announcement of the engagement between Gerald and Sheila. Gerald is a rich man and the son of the owner to a rival company to Mr. Birling. Sheila is Mr. Birling’s daughter and is a very attractive young woman. Every character is radiant with the whole feel of the occasion but the soon arrival of the inspector shatters these feelings in a rather morbid way. Each character has an immediate impression of how they convey themselves.
Eric is shy quiet but likes to drink unlike Mr. Birling who is very outward and likes expressing himself. When the doorbell rings Mr. Birling is talking about how a man should look after himself and his family primarily he talks in a ‘From experience’ angle and is very demeaning in the way that he lectures the two boys on how the points of encouragement in the community is everyone looking after else when in Mr. Birling’s belief ” a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own.
Clearly the opposite train of thought to that of the community. On page 11 the inspector is described immediately as being a very ‘big’ man or at least creates the impression that he is very important and generally not overshadowed by anything in the room. His appearance is also said to be purposeful as if he was the type of person not to build on things, as inspectors tend not to do. He seems very careful in his choice of words and dresses in a very plain manner as to reflect his personality of being a very stern and solemn person.
He is described as to have “a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking” we see later on in the play that this habit is used to unsettle and unnerve his interviewee before drawing the information required out of them in any manner he finds appropriate. The audience can tell that the police inspector is not a real inspector by the way he conducts himself around the family this is shown by the way he is commanding of the family and values his own opinion and methods over theirs he also tries to conflict with the family on what themselves is such as ” You have no hope of not discussing it Mrs.
Birling. ” This immediately pressures Mrs. Birling into discussing the matter which she had no intentions of discussing. He uses this controlling manner to extract a confessional speech form each member of the family. The second revealing property of the inspector is how he orders the family around at his own will he does this in order to keep his ideas of how the events occurred as the right ideas so that no one else in the family overpowers him and changes how things really happened.
For example Mr. Birling says, “Yes well we needn’t go into all that. To which the inspector says, “go into what? ” this immediately puts Mr Birling into a position where he is forced to explain giving the inspector a greater knowledge of the situation giving him a greater control of the event. The third way that the inspector shows he is false is the way he tells off the other characters and tries to take an adult role over every character in the play.
He does this by casting aside their views and demeaning all their explanations as immature and unimportant Mr. Birling “Not doing her work properly? Inspector “there was nothing wrong with the way she was doing her work. ” The inspector seems to have a foresight in the fact that he knows what each character is going to say before they say it, for example “well, we know one woman who wasn’t don’t we? ” The inspector explains his understanding of practically everything by saying things that make him out to know much of the situation but this foresight can only be explained by his greater knowledge of the characters and the events that have taken place.
The inspector regularly passes judgment on the characters for example “” Why should you do any protesting? ” This is feasible as he has a good knowledge of the character backgrounds. There are a few main features of the inspector that put this image of mystery about him such as his name Goole which I a word that’s sounds like ghoul which means ghost. Also his very ‘massive’ appearance and the wearing of very drab clothes make him all the more mysterious as it does not show any personality or character.
The inspector often throws in certain details about Eva Smith’s life to link them to the next event it becomes apparent later that all of these are in fact guess work or completely fictional events such s “Milwards suddenly found themselves short handed. So that gave her a chance. ” The inspector has very fixed opinions of each character. He believes Mr. Birling is a tight fisted businessman, Mrs. Birling is a hard, cold woman with no pity, Sheila is a very easily provoked jealous little girl, Eric is an excitable man who drinks heavily and Gerald is kind and respectable.
The inspector is there to teach a lesson. That everyone in the world is responsible (in a minute way) for everyone else. He expresses this point very strongly “in blood and anguish. ” The inspector is angry at Mr. and Mrs. Birling as he holds them responsible for the actions of Eric and Sheila as adults the inspector really put pressure on them because of this feeling.
The inspector says that if people do not learn their lesson then “they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. These are the character views of the inspector: – Mr. Birling “He was prejudiced” Mrs. Birling “I felt it all the time he never talked like one. ” Sheila “He frightened me” Gerald “there isn’t any such inspector” Eric “No matter what happened I still did what I did. I feel the role of false inspector was well written as he had interesting methods theory’s and an air of mystery all at the same time. He was very clever in the way that he worked and tricked everyone very convincingly.