This essay sample on Solidarity Essay provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
The play I am studying is called “The Inspector Calls”. In this essay I will assess the dramatic impact of the inspector in the play with reference to one other character in the play. “The Inspector Calls” was written in 1945 but set in 1912. This means that the audience has insight into the future.
For example when Mr Birling states “The Titanic-she sails this week-forty-six thousand eight hundred tons-forty six thousand eight hundred tons- New York in five days-and every luxury-and unsinkable”.
In this situation the audience would be feeling rather smug because they know that the Titanic does sink. Priestly was aiming to show that everybody in the society should be responsible for their own actions instead of just thinking of themselves. He also shows that people should be treated with the same respect whoever they are.
Lastly Priestly tries to make people think about their place in society and the effects of their actions. This is revealed as Priestly takes each character in turn and explains to them and the family how their actions have affected Eva Smith.
Before the Inspector arrived the well off family, The Birlings, who wrongly believe they are better than other families, were having a party to celebrate their daughter Sheila’s engagement to a man called Gerald Croft who was also very well off.
Everyone appeared extremely happy and all of them friendly to each other like a family. Then the Inspector entered. The lighting changes from pink and intimate to brighter and harder. The effect of this is that the audience becomes aware that a more sinister atmosphere is approaching and also increases the temper and emotions in the characters. Also making the play more watch able for the audience.
The Inspector immediately quietens the atmosphere. By doing this he makes the mood of the celebration tense. He does this by singling out one person personally and asking the questions he imposed specifically to them. He is described as a not very big man. However he also states that he creates a massiveness, solidarity and purposefulness. Priestly also describes him by saying that he speaks carefully, weightily and has a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he address’s before speaking.
There is an air of menace about him, unlike the other characters in the play. He is single minded in pursuing his chosen line of investigation. He is so certain about his facts that he unsettles the audience because they can tell that there is something strange about him. When the Inspector is around nobody challenges his version of events. This is because he speaks with a lot of authority so nobody questions him and immediately thinks he is right. However the other characters question these facts after he has left.
The Inspector is extremely confident when speaking. This conveys to the audience that he is more powerful than the other people in the house. Furthermore it makes him seem strange and suspicious to the audience. This is because he seems to know everything the family is going to say before they say it. Also, he does not really uncover the truth, he already knows it. He only uncovers it for the characters benefit. This makes him not like a real police inspector because they uncover the truth creating tension. The Inspector acts like a narrator in the play. He tells the story at his own pace. The Inspector links separate incidents into one coherent life story. He often supplies dates or fills in back ground. This adds to the tension because the audience does not know where and from whom the Inspector got the dates and the character background information.
He undermines that the characters complacent assumption that they are decent citizens. Each character finds this a devastating experience. The characters that resist telling the Inspector the truth suffer more than people who are open with him. For example the Inspector says to Gerald “…. if you’re easy with me, I’m easy with you”. He makes no judgement upon Gerald and also tries to stop Sheila from blaming herself too much. However he begins to loose patience with Mr Birling. For instance “Don’t stammer and yammer at me again, man. I’m losing patience with you people”
He is an enigmatic figure. We never learn his first name causing the audience to wonder who he really is. He neither changes nor develops, but frequently repeats, “I haven’t much time.” This creates tension because the audience do not know why he has so little time. Inspector Goole’s name is a pun on ‘ghoul’ a malevolent spirit or ghost. He could be seen as some kind of spirit, sent on behalf of the dead girl to torment the consciences of the characters in the play, or as a sort of policeman conducting an inquiry as a preliminary to the Day of Judgement, or even as a for warming of things to come.
This adds to the tension because the audience does not know who the Inspector is. Priestly did not want to tell the audience who the Inspector really is. To reveal his identity as a hoaxer or some kind of ‘spirit’ would have spoilt the unresolved tension that is so effective at the end of the play. The Inspector behaves as the voice of social conscience. For example ” You see, we have to share something. If there’s nothing else, we’ll have to share our guilt.” He is a socialist meaning that he believes that everyone should share.
The character I am studying is called Eric and he is Mr Birling’s son. Eric is characterised as ‘half shy, half assertive’. At the beginning of the play he did not know what his parents were really like and at the end of the play he did not like their real personalities. He conveys the difference between young men and older men. This is shown when Eric does not catch onto the jokes Mr Birling and Gerald share. For example in Act one when the Inspector rings the doorbell, Gerald and Mr Birling shares a joke and Eric says, ” Here what do you mean?” and when he realises it was a joke he says ” Well, I don’t think it’s very funny.”
This shows the difference in age between the three and also makes Eric seem very young like he’s being treated like a young child. When Eric says ” Here, what….” he does not share the joke again between Mr Birling and Gerald. He attracts attention, and then suspicion, by his evident alarm at the news of the Inspectors visit. This makes the audience think that Eric could be hiding something. Eric arouses curiosity with his sudden guffaw in Act one. This may mean that Eric knows something about Gerald that the others do not because Sheila has just been scolding Gerald for not seeing her over the summer because of his work.