GCSE English: An Inspector Calls

Post length: 2,119 words, about 9 and a half minutes.

The following essay was written for my GCSE English course in June 2000 and relates to the J.B. Priestley play “An Inspector Calls”. If you’re studying the book then a great copy to have is the Penguin Modern Classic version An Inspector Calls and Other Plays.

Who or what is Inspector Goole, and what is his role in the play?

The character of Inspector Goole can be explained in many ways.  It is thought, that he could be a ghost, an angel (sent from God to deliver the truth), a psychic (able to see the future), or simply just a socialist “Crank” – this is what, in fact, the characters in the play believe towards the end, as Mr. Birling says, “That fellow obviously didn’t like us.  He was prejudiced against us from the start.  Probably a socialist or some sort of crank – he talked like one.

Each and every one of the different explanations of who Goole could be can be explained; those who say that he is a ghost, believe that this is what Priestley wanted us to think.  At the end of the play it is discovered that Inspector Goole does not actually exist, that if he is a real person he does not work for the police, and the fact that he knew how each member of the family had been in contact with Eva seems a little unreal, or supernatural – like a ghost.  Also by giving him the name of Goole, he suggests it from the first time he enters.  It is thought that he never actually existed, but is supposed to be ‘the voice of their conscience’ and by asking each one of them about their relationship with Eva Smith he is making them think of how each one of them is to blame for her death – The inspector says to Mrs. Birling, “She came to you for help…And you not only refused it yourself, but you saw to it that others refused it too”.  It is thought that following Mr. Birling’s capitalist speech at the start of the play, each character is set off thinking of how, fundamentally, this is not true.

Another explanation given is that Goole is an angel sent from God to deliver the truth about the Birlings’ lives.  It could be said that he has been sent to this family to make them realize their wrong doings and to make them change their lives before it is too late.  This idea is supported by the fact that Mr. Birling is in the middle of his capitalist speech when Goole first arrives, and that this timing is ideal for the maximum impact upon the family – that by giving the news of Eva Smiths’ death at this time would make them think about their situation.  It is argued that if he was simply a “Crank” he would not have been able to arrive at that exact time, so therefore he must have been sent from God, or be a Supernatural spirit.  This timing is also very symbolic of the lesson Goole is trying to teach to the Birlings’, and the lesson which Priestley is trying to teach the audience – that we all have a shared moral and social responsibility.  He interrupts at the height of the Mr. Birling’s capitalist speech showing that the outside world affects him too.

Those who do not believe that the inspector is actually sent from god, but believe he has a religious connection think he may be someone who believed the family should be taught a religious message.  Both these arguments can be backed up by one of Gooles’ closing lines, “And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men do not learn that lesson, they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish.”  This is biblical hyperbole, he says it in such a way as to make you think it is taken straight from the book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible.

Another idea about who Goole could have been is if he is some sort of psychic, or someone able to see the future.  This is thought because at the end of the play the family receive a phone call from the police about a girl who has just committed suicide by swallowing disinfectant, exactly what the inspector had said only half an hour ago.

The final view on who Goole could be, is that he could be simply a Socialist “Crank” who was trying to get the family to change their ways.  This is the most supported of the explanations, and indeed the one which Mr. Birling himself believes, “That fellow obviously didn’t like us.  He was prejudiced against us from the start.  Probably a socialist or some sort of crank – he talked like one.”  He also goes on to say “Somebody put that fellow up to coming here and hoaxing us.  There are people in this town who dislike me enough to do that.”  The Birling family were in the upper class and had reputation of not treating the lower classes very well, as can be seen by how Mr. Birling had treated the people striking to get higher wages and the way in which Shela had had Eva sacked from here job at Milwards.  This could easily be the reason why somebody put the ‘Inspector’ up to visit the family.

It is important, however, that the inspector remains believable in his role as a police officer and a bit mysterious over all because he needs to carry out certain roles for the writer.  During the whole play he is perfectly believable as an inspector up until near the end, when he stops questioning the family and begins to almost preach to them, “Just remember this.  One Eva Smith has gone, but there are millions and millions of other Eva Smiths and John Smiths…”  His main job is [to] present the plays main theme – to teach us that we all have a shared moral and social responsibility to each other.  This can be said to be a political message, a socialist view which is stressed most in Gooles’ final speech “We don’t live alone.  We are members of one body.  We are responsible for each other.”  But it can also be seen as a religious one, and a much wider message – he is speaking to and about everyone, not just the one family in the play.

As well as teaching the main theme of the play Goole has an important part in the way the play works and flows – he is in control of the flow of the play and reveals certain facts at the best point to keep the audience interested.  During the play he drops hints as to who else has been involved in Eva Smiths’ life, and holds information back to build up the suspense of the play.  When Goole seems to reach the end of one line of inquiry, he will bring around another set of revelations with the hope that the family will reveal more of their past, as he did with Gerald, “Now she had to try something else.  So she first changed her name to Daisy Renton”, a name which Gerald a shock, as he knew the someone with that name, making him act surprised.  Having been shocked by what the inspector already knows, it also keeps the audience interested in the play.  The play is structured so that each member of the family is interviewed individually and they tell their own part of the story in chronological order, so as it makes sense to both the characters in the play and the audience.  This is all controlled by the inspector, who decides who to interview next so he has control over the flow of the whole play, he begins the interview with Mrs. Birling by saying “Yes.  And I think you’d better look at it [photo of Eva]”

The inspectors role is a symbolic one, he arrives when Mr. Birling is at the peak of his capitalist speech, and is interrupted by the inspector telling them how Eva Smith died in such pain,

I’ve learnt in the good hard school of experience – that a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own – and –

We hear the sharp ring of a front door bell

He also does not go until he is sure that all the members of the family are sorry for their behavior in the past, and that they would not do it again,

Inspector    You can’t even say ‘I’m sorry, Eva Smith.’
Sheila        (who is crying quietly) That’s the worst of it.

The play was written in 1945, following the second world war, but was set back in 1912, before the general strike, the first world war and the sinking of the Titanic.  All of these things affected the lower classes worse than the middle and upper classes; during the first world war hundreds of lower class soldiers were sent to fight and to die in the trenches.  It is significant that it is set then as it increases the impact of the main theme, that we all have a shared social and moral responsibility for each other.

Priestley gives the stage directions of, The lighting should be pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder.  This is used to symbolize the inspectors interrogation of the situation, it begins as soft to symbolize an upper-class home, but becomes ‘Brighter and harder’, when the inspector joins to symbolize both how he is inspecting the family and also to show how he intrudes into the family breaking it up and bringing the hard truth into their home, showing that they are connected to the goings on in other people’s lives.

The lighting is just one of the dramatic techniques Priestley has used to set the play – others being the fact that the whole play happens on stage in the time it would take to in real life, this is known as realism and is used to make the audience feel more involved in the play, another is the sudden turn of events at the end of the play, or coup de théâtre, when the family believe that they have got off the hook, and the phone rings telling them “A girl has just died…a police inspector is on his way here to ask some questions.

Following Gooles’ visit some members of the family do realize that what he is trying to teach is true, both Eric and Shela are affected by his visit right to the end of the play, where as the older members of the family, Mr. and Mrs. Birling, do not seem too bothered by his visit once they realize that he was not really a police inspector, they even end up joking about it and making fun of the inspector, Mr. Birling says, “You all helped to kill her. (pointing at Sheila and Eric, and laughing) And I wish you could have seen the look on your faces when he said that.”  The older members of the family do not seem to have learnt anything and when he is gone all they seem to care about is their reputation, “I was almost certain of a Knighthood in the next Honors list – ”  It is the younger end of the family who he affects most, who he seems able to teach his views to.

Whoever Goole was he managed to get a socialist, and perhaps religious, message across to some members of the family – Sheila and Eric.

Priestley manages to get his message to the audience too, by using the one family as an example of just one situation where each individual action, however small at the time, have ruined another persons life – even just the small things which seem unimportant at the time, can affect another life to such an extent.

The character of Inspector Goole can be explained in many ways. It is thought, that he could be a ghost, an angel (sent from God to deliver the truth), a psychic (able to see the future), or simply just a socialist “Crank” – this is what, in fact, the characters in the play believe towards the end, as Mr. Birling says, “That fellow obviously didn’t like us. He was prejudiced against us from the start. Probably a socialist or some sort of crank – he talked like one.”

This essay is released here under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence.

Posted on Wednesday 17th June, 2009 at 11:47 pm in School Work.
It was tagged with , , , , .


hahaha, a typical GCSE essay

Posted on 4th Oct 2009 at 9:11 pm by [Unknown].

Of course. I was a typical GCSE student 🙂

Posted on 8th Oct 2009 at 12:40 am by Jonathon.

is this A* piece

Posted on 8th Oct 2009 at 8:06 pm by cool boy.

omfg i love you so much for posting this! its really gave me inspiration on my coursework! thanks

Posted on 2nd Nov 2009 at 5:12 pm by :).

nope didnt help me….

Posted on 12th Nov 2009 at 8:28 pm by sexy gyal.

I think this is a really good help

Posted on 14th Nov 2009 at 11:14 pm by anonimous.

do you have anything to do with his PURPOSE?

Posted on 20th Dec 2009 at 5:22 pm by Rosie.

Haha, no sorry! This was written about 10 years ago. If it’s not in there I’m not going to remember I’m afraid!

Posted on 22nd Dec 2009 at 3:35 pm by Carreg.

thank for the information

Posted on 17th Jan 2010 at 4:37 pm by kate.


Now i am suspended from doing english gcse’s …

this happened last week from 2day …


Posted on 18th Jan 2010 at 12:38 am by Randomer!.

You’re most welcome. Perhaps it’ll teach you that you can’t just copy other people’s work. As I said in this post: “…while I hope it goes without saying I’ll say this anyway: don’t just submit my work as your own…”

Incicentally, if this is true, then you’re also in breach of the licence this work is published under (CC-BY-NC, as stated at the top of the post). That leaves you open to potential legal action as well. Oh dear.

Posted on 18th Jan 2010 at 1:36 am by Jonathon.

wow a really good piece of work, i was i possed the talent you have. i’m doing a drama peice and i have to be eva smith’s diary and i want to add a twist. any ideas? thanks anways

Posted on 6th Feb 2010 at 6:05 pm by tracy.

An interesting assignment. However it sounds to me as if you are being asked to assume that the girl Arthur sacked, the shop assistant Sheila had sacked, the girl Gerald had an affair with, the girl Eric got pregnant and the girl Sybil turned away are one and the same person. This, to me, presents a problem: my reading of the play is quite the opposite.

I’m not going to do your work for you, but given the assumption you appear to have been asked to make, my interpretation and your desire for a twist of some kind, I’d be tempted to somehow highlight the possibility that each of the people the characters have interacted with might well have been different people.

You don’t say how you are to present this assignment (a monologue, a written piece, or whatever) so I can’t really suggest how you might go about doing that, but I think it might help to illustrate that you really do have an understanding of the complexities of the play.

Posted on 7th Feb 2010 at 1:43 am by Jonathon.

Umm well i have to write a solliquy at one point of the play and i have choosen to write it the day before eva gets fired. I have already written the first paragraph and i included that she is poor, wants a pay rise from twenty two six shillings to twenty five shillings and how she has no family.

My solliquy has to be at least 2 minutes long when i read it and i must add gestures. I was thinking of expanding in the fact that her parents died and add a twist that mabye the inspector could be a her ghost father or that edna could be her best friend.I will not ask you to do my coursework for me but just help me expand on my ideas and make them more ambitious. Thank-you for your time and concideration.

Posted on 7th Feb 2010 at 11:38 am by tracy.

this helped me alot thanks

Posted on 4th Jul 2010 at 6:27 pm by timbo.

Oh my gosh, this is amazing, even though my essay is about ‘An Inspector Calls’, but has nothing to do with Mr Goole, i have found this rather fascinating. I must praise your talent, as you remind me of my english teacher a lot. You must be really open minded to put your work on the internet for others to use as a template 🙂
I won’t use your work, but that doesn’t mean that i spent a good 10 mins reading it.
Thank you x

Posted on 5th Jul 2010 at 6:41 pm by samatha.

After seeing the play, I thought the inspector was her father and knew the events that led up to her death and went to see the family before the police were involved. But than I thought that he had showed each member of the family a different photo so that would make the inspector more of a moral ghost. I think the story was written to make the audience reflect on our own actions towards others and that people just do the best they can with what they have.

Posted on 7th Mar 2012 at 1:53 pm by Maria Monteleone.

thx it helped me soo much

Posted on 6th May 2012 at 2:45 pm by eric masson.

worth A

Posted on 17th May 2012 at 10:03 pm by zoobz.

Ever thought that maybe he could be the ghost of Eva’s unborn baby or Eva herself come to haunt them, gruesome thought i know, but just as possible. Thanks 🙂

Posted on 20th May 2012 at 4:23 pm by charley.

V-E-R-Y inspirational!
I really enjoyed the play and your essay is loaded with ideas!

Posted on 14th Nov 2012 at 4:49 pm by Elisha.

hey cheers that was sooooooooooooooooo helpful. you can call me gary 😉

Posted on 27th Nov 2012 at 11:11 am by gary.

We’ve just finished reading and analysing An Inspector Calls – have you thought of the interpretation that he is a murderer, along with all these?
The idea is that he actually kills Eva Smith to teach the family a lesson.

Another idea I found intriguing is that he sets up the family for a fall when he tells them how Eva Smith died. When Gerald phones the infirmary to ask if any disinfectant-related suicides have happened, and later it does, the infirmary would naturally become suspicious.

Posted on 24th Jan 2013 at 9:25 pm by Max Hallam.

I’ve got this essay to write up tomorrow and I’m freaking out , this really helped me know what exactly I was writing about aha thankyou so much x

Posted on 25th Mar 2013 at 7:42 pm by April rochford.

that was really helpfull for my gcse work
this is my first year of gcse so i am not used to researching but this website was so helpfull


Posted on 25th Jun 2014 at 6:14 pm by Aaqib.

OMG!!!!! You are an incredible person who really understands this play and I highly respect you. You are Zeus in my eyes

Posted on 6th Aug 2014 at 7:39 pm by Baby cakes.

This was really interesting to read. We’re reading this for our mock and I read ahead, wanted to see some opinions on the inspector and these are really interesting. Thanks!

Posted on 5th Oct 2014 at 9:57 pm by Terezi.

I’ve recently started my GCSE course and I was struggling to grasp the concept of An Inspector Calls. This has helped immensely – thank-you!

Posted on 13th Oct 2014 at 9:20 pm by Ell.

Thank you soo much this piece really helped me understand the inspector!!!

Posted on 10th Jan 2015 at 3:52 pm by hi.

an extremely inspirational GCSE piece!!!Helped me quite a bit!!

Posted on 28th Jun 2015 at 9:15 pm by anonymous.


Posted on 2nd Jul 2015 at 9:30 am by Balde Diao Keita.

Oh well. Let that be a lesson to you. Don’t copy other people’s work.

Posted on 2nd Jul 2015 at 10:36 am by Jonathon.

Your reference to ‘lower classes’ suffering more in WW1 is entirely incorrect. Proportionally, the Officer class suffered far more casualties and life expectance was generally lower. Socialist ‘claptrap’

Posted on 14th Sep 2015 at 2:21 pm by SH.

To put your comment in context: “…the general strike, the first world war and the sinking of the Titanic. All of these things affected the lower classes worse than the middle and upper classes…” I did then go on to talk about lower class soldiers being sent to fight in the trenches.

What is significant is that, by the end of the second world war when the play was written, class division was far less pronounced than it was in the years preceding the first world war when the play is set. (The conservative party were also heavily defeated by Attlee following the end of the WWII — arguably there was appetite for social change.) Priestly himself was of course an influential leftist, reference his writings Out of the people (1941) and The Secret Dream: an essay on Britain, America and Russia (1946). The author leans heavily on dramatic irony drawn from the historical context.

With regard to my essay: I’m aware, 15 years after I wrote the piece, that there are political debates relating to how each of the classes suffered during the First World War. No doubt there were casualties across the board and the loss of a life is the loss of a life no matter what the person’s socioeconomic background. Of course my own political leanings might well have influenced the essay to some extent, but to write the statement off as “entirely incorrect” “socialist ‘claptrap'” seems a little heavy handed.

That paragraph is quite a way through the essay and I’m pleased you took the time to both read it and to comment. I always welcome view and debate from all sides of an argument.

Posted on 17th Sep 2015 at 10:54 am by Jonathon.

I need some help understanding please help?

Posted on 14th Sep 2015 at 5:49 pm by randowmer.

BBC have just made a film version, starring David Thewlis (aka Professor Lupin!) as the Inspector. I’d highly recommend watching it, it’s shot beautifully but I did wonder who the Inspector was and how he managed to kind of predict the future. I’ve not read or seen the play so it was quite ambiguous to me. I’ll be reading the play for sure! Just wanted to say – fantastic essay, loved reading it. Your points are so coherent and well presented. I hope you got a good grade! Goole/ghoul!! I hadn’t even made that connection. Ach. An awesome read. Thank you.

Posted on 15th Sep 2015 at 1:44 am by Jess.

I spotted this on iPlayer the other day. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet but I certainly intend to in the next few days.

If you get the chance I strongly recommend you try to catch the 2015/16 UK tour of the 1992 National Theatre production, it’s an excellent production. I first saw it at the Salford Lowry theatre around the same time as I wrote this essay and was lucky enough to be able to watch it again just 5 years ago when it was revived in London’s West End.

Thank you for your kind comments about the essay.

Posted on 15th Sep 2015 at 1:35 pm by Jonathon.

Watched BBC TV’s adaption on Sunday 13th Set 2015 with no previous knowledge of play and didn’t mug up on plot in advanced. Caught my attention for 2hrs. Just come back from a stage performance at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford.
I went to a matinee and it was a full house of school children! (The smell and noise of crisps being eaten was noticable). The stage production was even more weird that the TV one. I’m amazed that 15 yr olds have to deal with the details on the plot!
Thanks for your post – interesting.

Posted on 16th Sep 2015 at 6:55 pm by John R.

You’re the second person to comment on the TV version. I’ve yet to see it but I know it’s still on iPlayer and I fully intend to watch it before it expires. It’s fascinating how this adaptation has brought a whole load of adults to read my old essay rather than the usual school children!

I’m really pleased that you saw the stage version. As mentioned in a comment further up, this is the excellent 1992 National Theatre production which I’ve actually seen twice — despite studying the play at school I still enjoy it. Without wanting to spoil the staging for anyone who plans to see the tour: Daldry’s setting of the family in, effectively, a doll’s house — watched by the audience in quite a voyeuristic way — while things go unnoticed on the street around them really helps to bring to life the themes buried deep in Priestley’s script.

Posted on 17th Sep 2015 at 10:01 am by Jonathon.

I too watched this on iplayer after it was aired on BBC1 on Sunday evening. I didn’t know anything about the story but thoroughly enjoyed the show. Wasn’t too sure abut the ending, so Googled it (how did we manage 30 years ago when I was at school? – Libraries!). My first thought was that the inspector was a relative, second thought was that he was a ghost/ghoul. Thank you for posting this, it was excellent. It should come with a warning though to kids who’ll think about copying it. As the saying goes some “kids will be kids” and will try get through life the easy way lol.

Posted on 18th Sep 2015 at 10:01 am by Julie.

And thank you for reading it! I hope it at least gave you some food for thought, even if it doesn’t completely clear the subtext up once and for all.

I do know that school anti-plagiarism software picks up content copied from my essay, and there are comments of people who have been caught. But you might be right that I should strengthen the warning at the top!

Posted on 18th Sep 2015 at 10:38 am by Jonathon.

A really great essay! It has really helped me to write my own piece on Inspector Goole- thanks!

Posted on 27th Sep 2015 at 5:13 pm by Freya.

I just watched An Inspector Calls 2015 version. I watched the Alistair Sim version many many years ago so was keen to see a new version hoping to understand it after all this time. I still don’t really but it’s great to be able to read lots of other people’s ideas. When I was at Uni 17 years ago plagiarism was forbidden but we didn’t have the internet as it is now. We used books and microfiche. How things have changed in less than 17 years! Thank you for all your useful explanations!

Posted on 27th Sep 2015 at 7:26 pm by Lynda Gale.

Hi, thank you so much this really helped! I’m gathering notes on quotations and evidence from the text and was wondering if you knew of anything to back up the idea that the Inspector is a catalyst of the play?

Posted on 7th Nov 2015 at 8:55 am by Frances.

can you give me a few points about the inspector goole and how he is developed through the play how he creates a dramatic change

Posted on 15th Nov 2015 at 8:16 am by MO.

I’ve just watched An Inspector Calls at The Alhambra Theatre in Bradford! It was fantastic and I loved the set. The actors and actresses were superb. I really enjoyed studying the play at school around ten years ago! I think I studied it in 2004 or 2005. I can’t remember now! Loved reading your essay and it brought back memories of writing my essays 🙂
I think I got a B and C in the end for Language and Lit. Fun times! Literally… I’m such a geek. I hope to see more plays now 🙂
Stumbled across this when I was looking for explanations of the play on google. I’m not sure who the people are meant to be in the theatre production, towards the end some people come on stage and just sort of stare and remain quiet. Are they supposed to be ghouls too? I noticed and realised now that they appear to be lower classes, among them is a young soldier. It would be interesting to hear what you think and what you interpreted these people to be :)?

Posted on 7th May 2016 at 12:51 am by Sara.

It looks like the version you saw is the National Theatre’s 1992 production — the one with the tipping doll’s house. I’ve been lucky enough to see this production twice (Manchester in 2000 and London in 2010), it is a fabulous version of the play. Your question is interesting and to be honest I hadn’t considered that element much before, but let me try and address it from memory. Apologies if my recollection is a little hazy.

The people who come on stage, I believe, are a representation of the lower classes which the family have spent the evening discussing. In all honesty I wouldn’t generally interpret them as anything other than real people, for the majority of the play, going about their business outside of the Berling’s bubble. They are, however, a recurring theme — the play opens on the street below the house, and interactions with it continue as the family goes on to pass judgement on the ‘type’ of people they perceive as living below them on it. As the evening wears on their own world, in this case quite literally, collapses — towards the street and the world of the lower classes — and they perhaps realise that the people they had been discussing are real people right outside their door.

The symbolism of the scenes towards the end of the play, where the people from outside of the Birling’s world stand and stare, to me represents almost a shift in power. While at the start of the piece the Berling family is passing judgement on the lower classes, by the third act the lower classes, and indeed the audience, are able to judge the Birlings. After all, as voyeurs, you’ve just witnessed the systematic deconstruction of their world. To me that’s what those scenes represent: judgement.

Perhaps it’s designed to show how judgement works both ways: the upper classes judge the lower classes while at the same time the lower classes judge the upper classes; that neither is any better than the other in that regard. Or perhaps it represents the way the Berlings are judging themselves: they have, up to that point, seemed to change in their own world view and perhaps it’s their own realisation that people looking in on their world don’t see it quite how they do from the inside.

I guess, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how to interpret it but those are my initial thoughts. And honestly thank you for asking! It’s an element of the play I really hadn’t considered in detail before. It’s fascinating how different people come away from the theatre thinking about different bits after seeing the same play.

Posted on 7th May 2016 at 10:11 am by Jonathon.

Indeed to find out more about inspector calls also I need to research what the specific contextual factors about inspectors calls also what are the aspects of the topic you apply and another’s thing what do people think of inspector calls and the specifically about your given topic and I need to find out if I would agree or disagree with what they have said about inspector calls

Posted on 29th Dec 2016 at 12:57 pm by Melissa.

I’m 13 years old and there is a billboard in my English class showing some brief info about An Inspector calls. I had never watched nor read or even heard of An inspector calls until now. I started with researching the brief plot and then a little background information on the characters and what role they play in the story. After watching the BBC movie adaption 2015; I was curious about the Inspector Goole. Gerald’s suggestion about the girl being different to all of them, plus, the plot twist and unexpected ending left me baffled and I wanted to know what other people say about Goole and who he is. I did, momentarily think he was Eva’s father nearing the end of the movie but I quickly changed my mind and was left under the impression that he was a ghost or could see the future. Your essay really helped me understand the interpretations of Goole. My gratitude for this essay! it is fabulous! 🙂 Thanks for that, it really helped me have a better insight and most of your ideas and thoughts were what I was also thinking of, coincidentally. 🙂 Thanks again for this essay!

Posted on 4th Feb 2017 at 10:37 pm by PocketPeanuts.

Did you consider the possibility of them being stuck in some kind of time-warp? I think that. 🙂

Posted on 6th Feb 2017 at 7:20 pm by PocketPeanuts.

oh my god- this is brilliant. i’m taking my GCSEs this time next year, and this play is my in depth study. This essay was amazing and extremely helpful. do you mind if i use some ideas present? (however, no copy- and- pasting though; i’m not going to risk my GCSE’s on copying)

Posted on 10th Mar 2017 at 10:09 pm by hailee.

Go ahead. I’m glad it inspired you.

Posted on 11th Mar 2017 at 8:04 am by Jonathon.

This is great, I have to do an essay and character poster for the wall in my English class and I have one night to do it, this gave me some great ideas thanks a lot

Posted on 22nd Mar 2017 at 5:39 pm by Jess.

I need help anwsering same question about Inspector Goole
Most important moment for Inspector Goole?
Connections to the play’s thems and social/historical context?
Key quotations of Inspector Goole?
Relationships with other characters?
Cn you get back to me by Sunday 11th June 2017 Need to do it for Monday homework

Posted on 10th Jun 2017 at 3:57 pm by Kath.

Really informative view of different perspectives.

Posted on 19th Nov 2017 at 6:03 pm by gcse student.

Not sure if this is just me, and it may well be just my understanding, considering nobody else seems to have picked up on this, but for some reason this sentence just doesn’t seem right to me, “His main job is present the plays main theme”, is it possible there’s a word missing? “to present” perhaps? I’m taking my GCSEs in a few months and it’s really interesting to read an analysis of this text from somebody else’s viewpoint as you’ve mentioned ideas that I’d never even considered before (such as the point about Goole perhaps being an angel).

Posted on 7th Jan 2018 at 9:13 pm by Emily.

I think you’re right, well spotted. Sadly I just have the digital copy of the essay and not the marked version so I don’t know if any of the teachers ever picked up on it back in the day. I’ve added the missing word to the body of the text in square brackets to show it wasn’t in the original. Thanks!

Posted on 8th Jan 2018 at 12:47 pm by Jonathon.

Really bro? how long you been on this 😀 i see replys and comments from 2009 haha

Posted on 25th Feb 2018 at 4:13 pm by Thatguy.

I did my GCSEs in 2000, so the essay itself is 18 years old now. I posted it here back in 2009.

Posted on 27th Feb 2018 at 11:32 am by Jonathon.

Hey, I’m 14 now and in year 9, we started studying an Inspector Calls for GCSE and luckily I have already got the whole story still stored fresh in my head, along with all the ideas from your essay. I will come often! Thanks again. 🙂

Posted on 13th Mar 2018 at 7:33 pm by PocketPeanuts.

This is really interesting! I love the Idea that Inspector Goole could be an Angel! I never have thought about that until now. I am doing my GCSE’s in two more years and this really has inspired me! I live In Bradford so I will see the performance In the Alhambra! Thank you for publishing this piece.

Posted on 10th May 2018 at 2:39 pm by Ben.

If you get chance to see the National Theatre production while on tour (I imagine that’s the version you would see at the Alhambra) I would strongly recommend it. It’s an excellent piece of theatre.

Posted on 11th May 2018 at 11:35 am by Jonathon.

I have my English GCSE tomorrow, I’m beginning to contemplate hidden symbolism in the play in order to achieve higher marks and reach the top grades. Looking through the play briefly, do you think it’s possible that Edna answering the door to the Inspector could sumbolise the use of the lower class in order to avoid responsibility since Edna is the one being dealing with the Inspector at first rather than any other character? Or possibly the ignorance towards the truth and towards socialist’s views. Also, could the use of disinfectant as a suicide method be important? The burning out of Eva’s insides is only really touched upon by the Inspector whereas the family never really acknowledged the fact that the girl had any interior qualities at all. I think towards the end, Sheila repeats the Inspectors words on this which could suggest her change and sudden regard towards Eva’s true personality rather than just her exterior. The burning out of her throat etc could also suggest her being silenced as we never get to hear anything from her perspective and therefore the Inspector has to speak on her behalf, thinking back whenever she attempted to share her story no one appeared to listen so maybe the bleach was also symbolism of this ? Not sure if this is too deep of an interpretation. Thank you

Posted on 24th May 2018 at 4:01 pm by Amber.

Hi so I was wanting to ask which quotes would you say I would need to remember?

Posted on 2nd Oct 2018 at 11:24 am by Joe.

Woah… Amber, I never thought of that before. You know, now you mention it; what if the whole ‘baby’ thing serves as a metaphor of how the lower class are responsible for reformation; but the upper class keep on aborting the birth of change in social classes, gender inequalities and other divisions, by the way in which they regard and treat the lower classes and people below the aristocracy? Or is that too far-fetched? Idk…

Posted on 23rd Oct 2018 at 3:39 am by pocketpeanuts.

I found your essay fascinating. Have just watched the film version on Amazon Prime and wanted opinions as to who or what the inspector was supposed to be (I saw a stage production many years ago but didn’t really question anything then). Good old google found you and now I can go to bed with a relaxed, informed brain. Thanks so much!

Posted on 4th Feb 2019 at 3:13 am by Marcelle.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I’m actually working on the touring national theatre show this week, it’s my second time working on it. Seeing it again after about 10 years has made me look at it entirely differently. I think all of the characters have lived lives and are now dead and facing judgement. The bleakness of the set leads one to belive that nothing else exists outside of the house and surrounding street. Like it is a purgatory for all involved in the death of Eva who are now caught in an eternal guilt loop until they can face up to what they did in life. I think the inspector is the embodiment of judgement or something to that effect. Probably miles off but that’s my two cents.

Posted on 19th Sep 2019 at 8:00 pm by Chris Tibbs.

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