Priestley’s play ‘An inspector calls’ is set in 1912, right before the 1st World War. The Birling family is celebrating Sheila’s engagement to Gerald Croft, until the unheard of Inspector Goole comes and tells them about Eva Smith and how she committed suicide. The hidden investigation which is taking place in the Birling house is being solved and unravelled. In order to delve into the dramatic effectiveness of act 3, one must consider the structure; stagecraft and language Priestly gives threw out the play.
There is emotive language made by the Inspector before he leaves when he says “Fire, blood anguish”. The word “fire” can lead to the meaning of threat, danger and destruction. It probably means that the Inspector is telling the family that something is coming there way which will destroy their way of living or thinking. Also the word “blood” may have the meaning of spilling, pain and death. This sentence is very effective as after the Inspector says “Good night” he leaves. Leaving the audience and the family thinking about everything and if anything is going to be coming there way (as he was right with everything else he said through out the play). In the middle of his speech the inspector also says “pay a heavy price” this makes the audience and the family think as its Mr Birling who will pay the heavy price after sacking Eva.
Throughout the play the audience have this constant reminder of Mr Birling saying, “A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own…” This later causes dramatic irony, as his attitude to life, affects people like Eva Smith. This is constant as Priestley wants us to realise the key aspect of it at the end of the play. Priestley does this through the inspector he says “One Eva Smith has gone – but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smith still left with us…We don’t live alone.
We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other”, this is case as it is the reason why Eva Smith died, because we do have to have responsibility for one another. This proves Mr Birling wrong, and it makes the audience (if they are first class) think. This is the sentence the inspector uses in apart of his speech before leaving the Birling house; this also causes a lot of moral thinking for the audience which has huge impact on their thoughts of the play as the audience now know what is right and what is wrong.
In the play there is the structure that Priestley makes for the Inspector in the order he interviews the Birling Family. He interviews Mr Birling, then Sheila, after that he interviews Gerald and then Mrs Birling then Eric. The inspector interviews them all in this order because it’s the order they all met Eva Smith. The exceptions are Mrs Birling and Eric. The reason for this is because if Mrs Birling knew Eric had an affair and that it was her grandchild Eva Smith was carrying, she wouldn’t have said the truth about blaming the father. When Mrs Birling finds out about Eric, she realises that she had been contradicting herself the whole time. This causes dramatic irony as in the end she condemned her own son. Every ones views changes about Eric after this because over all they’ve found out that he’s a drunk, he stole company money (ï¿½50) from his fathers and he got Eva Smith pregnant.
The whole story of Eva coming to Mrs Birling’s charity leads to breaking the bond Eric and Mrs Birling have, as everything she did to Eva is cruel and prejudice. When Mrs Birling sends Eva away, this causes her to commit suicide (as she gives up after everything she’s been through), and therefore killing the baby to. We know that the bond between Eric and Mrs Birling is broken for sure when Eric says “you killed them both- damn you, damn you”.