The Inspector is a mysterious character

The Inspector told the family that he had a couple of Eva Smiths possessions. From these few items has made a picture of her life and character. Despite Gerald and the Birling’s importance in the local community; the Inspector controls what happens inside their house. “He needs a drink now just see him through,” the Inspector commands Mr. Birling to pour his son Eric a drink to steady his nerves. The Inspector’s mysteriousness comes from the impression he gives as an outsider, but he knows so much about the family, Eva and life in general.

The Inspector’s character is used as a vehicle to portray J. B. Priestley’s strong moral views. The way the Inspector speaks delivers Priestley’s compassion and shows the family the wrong they have done. “Remember what you did” he says to Mrs. Birling so that she will never forget what she has done to make the situation worse. He doesn’t forgive her or any of the family. But when the family freely admit their mistakes he let’s them see, they can find forgiveness through future behaviour.

The Inspector’s lack of fear or bias, and his over concern for truth is shown by his constant, determined questioning. This is seen, according to Mrs. Birling, as “rudeness. ” This apparent attitude starts to put doubts into the minds of the family members.

The Inspectors, “very peculiar and suspicious manner,” towards the end of his stay starts fuelling suspicions as to who the Inspector really is. His thoughts on social conventions were clearly nothing, the Birlings had ever come across before. In the Inspector’s mind, social standings count for nothing against truth and justice.

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