Eric confesses that he had got the girl pregnant and further more that he had stolen money from his father’s firm to give to her. However, after learning about his mother’s recent involvement with the girl he quickly blames her for the death of Eva Smith and her unborn child. The family are completely shocked and ashamed of themselves. Finally, the Inspector makes a speech about social responsibilities, as if directly answering to Mr. Birling’s speech earlier in the evening. He then leaves. Gradually, Mr. Birling realises that the man could not have been a real police inspector.
They also realise that they may have not all been talking about the same girl or in fact, whether any girl had actually committed suicide. This is confirmed by a telephone to the infirmary. The family feel relieved to hear this although Sheila and Eric seem to have been influenced strongly by the evening. The others restore confidence in themselves and their actions. At this point the telephone rings and reports that a young woman had just died in the infirmary and an inspector is on his way to make inquiries regarding her death. In this play Priestley uses dramatic techniques and creates a “cliff-hanger”.
This is done by each act ending leaving the audience to wonder what will happen next. For example the first act leaves the audience curious as to how Gerald was involved with daisy Renton. The second act leaves the audience to realise Eric’s involvement with Eva Smith and wonder what will happen between the end of Gerald’s affair with the girl and Mrs. Birling’s meeting with her. The third and concluding act still leaves the audience to wonder what will happen next. The telephone call at the end reopened the question of the Inspector’s identity.
It also leaves the audience wondering whether it will be the same inspector who comes to question them and how events will progress this time around. The plot allows the action to flow smoothly and continually creating a sense of time and place. This is so all through the three acts where the next act would start at the same point at which the previous act had finished. The play is built of separate “episodes” where each character takes the lead role. Also, all actions and speeches represented something or were done for a reason. Even the entering and leaving of each character allowed new aspects of the plot to be introduced or developed.
For example, Gerald’s decision to go for a walk allows him to alter the course of events after the inspector’s departure. Also, Eric’s absence allows his involvement with daisy Renton and his drinking problem to be explored in a way that would not be possible by his presence. The Inspector’s selective use of the diary and photograph allows the audience to know Eva Smith’s order of events in the two years. Each part fits together like a jigsaw puzzle allowing the audience to understand Eva smith’s feelings and helps the audience to predict what will happen in the third act.