Inspector Goole In J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

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Priestley presents the characters of the Inspector and Mr Birling as complete opposites, with totally different views and attitudes towards society. Arthur Birling is a self-made businessman, who has held several political positions, but whose only aim is to increase his own importance and wealth. He is a rather pompous and selfish individual who tries to impress everyone around him, by telling them how great and successful he is. He has very capitalistic views, for he only cares about himself and his family and is unsympathetic towards anyone else. Furthermore, Mr Birling has a very high opinion of himself. In contrast, Inspector Goole is a rather symbolic character who is extremely intelligent and assertive. He is well organised and is able to take control of any situation. He is not impressed by Mr Birling’s social status, since with his socialist beliefs, he feels that everyone should be treated equally. Priestley depicts Mr Birling as an extremely arrogant character, who is very opinionated. He demands respect, wants people to listen to him and likes to think he is in charge of every…show more content…
This is illustrated when Mr Birling says, “Now look here, Inspector –”and the Inspector cuts him off with, “He must wait his turn.” The Inspector undermines Mr Birling’s authority over his own family, creating tension between them and fueling their ongoing feud for control. Mr Birling considers himself a well-respected man and he believes that he is too important to be investigated by the police. He feels that he should be treated with a higher degree of respect than other people. However, when the Inspector arrives, his authority and respect that he normally receives has vanished; not even his children listen to him and instead choose to listen to the Inspector. Mr Birling is greatly irritated by the Inspector’s intrusion and as the play progresses, the tension between them

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