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An Inspector Calls is a play with many social and political messages J B Priestley believed a great deal in socialism and he used several of his plays to try and influence people to be Socialist as well It was written in a time when Britain was ruled by a Labour government and socialist policies were seen as the way forward It was a popular way of thinking at that time so Priestleys aim for the play was probably to teach the unconvinced The Inspector in J B Priestleys An Inspector Calls is one of the most thought-provoking and mysterious characters that modern day literature has yet produced It is this mysterious element that contributes greatly to making him a very interesting character and one that may be perceived in many ways The audience does not find a great deal out about the Inspector and nothing is explicitly told to us we are given hints and clues from the way he acts and what he says and are forced to piece these together to form our own ideas about his identity and his intentions In this way Priestley has asked his audience to act as a judge and to reach personal conclusions about him The role of the Inspector is one of many levels In terms of how he is used in the basic structure of the play he is there to move the play along in that he encourages the characters to tell their stories If there was not the revelation that he was not a real Police Inspector he would only be considered as a narrator and not play a big part in the play Because it transpired that he was an impostor of sorts further questions are asked by the audience and different insights have become likely and it is clear that the Inspector is in the play for many reasons The play is set in the house of the Birling family
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