The inspector slowly says ” are you sure you don’t know. ” Then he looks at Gerald, then at Eric, then at Sheila. ” By looking at them all separately you guess all three of them have had a part in the girls life that has made her commit suicide. This creates tension by wanting know what they even though they have never heard her name. Looking at them individually is like he’s trying to read their minds and this scares them and will worry them making them feel guilty which will show on their faces. The Inspector tells Birling what Birling thought the inspector wouldn’t be able to answer.Order now
The inspector gives a list of all the problems the girl had with in her life after she was sacked. The inspector says “so after two months with no work, no money coming in, and living in lodgings, with no relatives to help her, few friends, lonely, half-starved, she was feeling desperate. ” The list creates a lot of tension by the sentences getting shorter and the inspector saying the list as if it was obvious what would happen to her. The inspector makes Birling look even worse to the audience by saying this is Birling done to her life from sacking her.
Because Birling looks bad capitalism looks bad. Birling believes the women who work in his company are just investments for an increase in money. Sheila says “But these girls aren’t cheap labour – they’re people. ” Birling doesn’t care if he pays lower wages than the women deserve as long as he makes money. Birling probably thinks he is helping them by giving them a job. Birling says sacking the girl had nothing to do with her committing suicide that was two years I sacked her. “Nearly two years ago – obviously it has nothing whatever to do with the wretched girl’s suicide. Eh, Inspector?
The inspector replies saying “No, sir. I can’t agree with you there. Birling quite angry about the inspector not agreeing with him says “Why not? ” Birling wouldn’t like this because he believes he is always correct and we no he’s probably wrong from what he said in his speech. So the audience prefers to believe the inspector rather than Birling and we then think socialism is better than capitalism. When Sheila finds out Eva Smith was sacked from Milwards for a customer complaining she becomes agitated. Sheila wants to know more and says staring at him, agitated “When was this?
” Then the Sheila says “What – what did this girl look like? ” The audience feel Sheila is arrogant but she knows she has done wrong and she feels guilty. She’s starting to get nervous hoping it wasn’t her who made the girls life worse and being involved in the chain of events before her suicide. Sheila looks at the photograph knows she was the customer that got the fired and runs out the room. “He produces the photograph. She looks at it closely, recognizes it with a little cry, gives a half stifled sob, and then runs out.
” Sheila running out cry bewilders the other three and Birling gets angry with the inspector and says, “We were having a nice little family celebration tonight. And a nasty mess you’ve made of it now, haven’t you. ” This reminds the audience they were all relaxed at the start of the play and the tension has increased a lot more since the inspector arrived. Gerald and Eric become very tense when they are the people left in the room with the inspector. The inspector hints that all of them have a part in the chain of events towards the suicide.
Gerald becomes uneasy and says, “Well, I don’t suppose I have -” but Eric suddenly burst out saying, “Look here, I’ve had enough of this. ” Audience think Gerald and Eric aren’t as tough as they show they are and that they deserve what they get. They are both getting very tense at what’s happened to their celebration has been demolished. The inspector says short and direct sentences to them dryly ” I dare say. ” He cuts in when Eric say’s he’s had enough and the inspector knows he has but he has to stay because he has an important part to play still yet and if he goes he will just have to come back.
The audience just want to know what Eric has done to be in the chain of events. Gerald say’s “after all, y’know, we’re respectable citizens and not criminals. ” The inspector gives an ironic reply and you want to know what he knows about them ” Sometimes there isn’t much difference as you think. ” The inspector is also saying everyone can be a criminal sometime in there life. Sheila re-enters the room and tells the truth about what she had done to make herself run out the room in tears. Because she tells the whole truth and is distressed about what’s she done and regrets it the inspector softens up on her.
Sheila admits, “It was my own fault” because she was in a bad temper and jealous. The audience like the inspector for softening up on Sheila as she is telling the truth and rather distressed about what she done. After Sheila has confessed everything to the inspector he becomes aggressive again and doesn’t care what she says she’s guilty anyway. Sheila says, “if I could help her now, I would-” The inspector cuts in telling her she can’t change what she’s done and she should except the consequences. The inspector says in a harsh voice “Yes, but you can’t.
It’s too late. She’s dead. ” This is a harsh thing for the inspector to say but it is the truth and straight to the point. Tension is created because after the inspector being nice he turns back to his usual harsh self. When the inspector says the name Eva smith changed to Gerald is startled. The inspector tells them what she done next with her life “Now she had to try something else. So first she changed her name to Daisy Renton-” Gerald cutting in is startled and says “What? ” None of them know why Gerald suddenly got even tenser from hearing the name.
Gerald the wants a drink showing he’s very shocked but he tries to then act normal again. Gerald tries to pull himself together and says, “D’you mind if I give myself a drink, Sheila? ” It’s obvious he knows it’s all going to go down hill for him now from that name being mention. Gerald confesses to seeing another women and tries to tell Sheila they don’t have anything to do with the murder. Once Gerald has admitted it all and Sheila has told him to stop being an idiot and that the inspector already knows so he can’t lie. Gerald say’s, “You don’t. Neither of us does.
So – for god’s sake – don’t say anything to the inspector. ” Sheila has realised the inspector knows everything that happened to the girl that committed suicide and she laughs hysterically at Gerald for being shocked, nervous and acting naive. The inspector walks in and just say’s “well? ” Which finishes Act One on a cliffhanger because you want to know whether the inspector was listening through the door or if he already knew? The beginning of the act is a party and everyone is happy and cheerful but at the end of the act Gerald, Birling, Sheila and Eric are very tense and shocked.
But miss Birling has been out of the act ever since the inspector arrived and has only been involved in the party. The atmosphere is very tense now unlike the start where it was a happy celebration. The unity of place for An Inspector Calls is only in the lounge. This creates more tension because the audience can just focus on one place so it’s easier to know what’s happening and imagine the setting. The unity of action for An Inspector Calls is only one plot line the girl’s suicide. Having just the girl’s suicide makes the audience able to understand what’s happening and increases the tension.
An Inspector Calls time to watch and the playtime is the same, which makes it more tense and easier to concentrate on what the time is in the play. Tension is increased in An Inspector Calls throughout the play. First the atmosphere is happy and they are having a celebration. Hints of tension are lights changing to white harsh light and Eric acting unusual. Preistley gives you detailed opening staged directions of the celebration. He describes what each character is like so you know if they are acting strange.
When the inspector arrives the amount of tension increases tremendously. The inspector reveals secrets each of the characters have and telling all the other characters. The audience want to know how he knew so much and he end’s Act One in a cliffhanger by saying just “well? ” The tension increases by the inspector falling out with each character one by one. The inspector knows they are all selfish, lying, snobs and doesn’t care what they say but they should accept the punishment. So Preistley is very subtle in creating and increasing the tension in the play.