An Inspector Calls

by: J. B. Priestley

Inspector Goole

The Inspector is physically imposing, and he has no trouble articulating his frustration with the Birlings and with Gerald. Over the course of his questioning, the Inspector reveals that each of characters has, in some sense, contributed to Eva Smith/Daisy Renton’s demise. The Inspector implies that the other characters care primarily for themselves, that they are angry and impulsive, and that they cannot control their sexual appetites or their intake of alcohol. He also says that they cannot change what has happened to Eva/Daisy, because she is no longer alive and capable of accepting their apologies. But the Inspector, too, is a curt, direct man, and his motivations for grilling the other characters are not readily comprehensible. His apparent socialist sympathies at the end of the play might account in political terms for some of his anger, but the Inspector’s desire to see justice through, in this case, is left unexplained.