An Inspector Calls is written by John Priestly. The story takes place in 1912,in Brumley just before the First World War, industrial city in the north midlands. It was first preformed in 1945. In the play, there is a lot of dramatic irony. This is when the audience knows something that the characters do not. For example, Arthur Birling says that the Titanic will never sink and that World War 1 will never happen but they both did. This suggests that Arthur Birling is likely to have strong views that may well prove to be wrong.
When the play opens, the Birling family is celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald Croft in the dining room. Sheila and Eric are arguing in a not so serious way, while Gerald and Mr. Birling are talking about business and Lady Croft’s attitude of social classes. It appears as if she isn’t too happy about the fact that her son is engaged to a girl of a lower class. Arthur hopes that the marriage will help his business. His ambitions become apparent when he tells Gerald that he might be in line for a knighthood. Just before the inspector arrives Mr. Birling shows his outlook on life, what he had learnt in the good hard school of experience to Gerald and Eric he says, “a man has to make his own way, he has to look after himself and his family”.
The inspector enters and tells the family about the suicide of Eva Smith. He shows a photograph to Mr. Birling and starts questioning him. It turns out that Eva Smith had been one of Mr. Birlings employees and later on was discharged because she asked for more money. Sheila is next to be questioned she had been jealous of Eva smith because she looked better in a specific dress. So she went to the manager and told him that this girl had been very impatient so she later on lost her job.
The inspector then goes on and tells that Eva smith had changed her name to Daisy Renton, Gerald knows that the inspectors questions will reveal his involvement with daisy Renton so he asks Sheila to leave the room but she insists on staying this suggests that Gerald is not really trustworthy. He confesses that he did have an affair with Daisy Renton the previous summer. The inspector then questions Mrs. Birling she admits that she did not like Eva Smith’s manner because she used the Birling name and lied about why she had done this.
Eric is the next to be questioned he admits to meeting this girl and having a bit to much to drink in the palace bar he then later went back to her lodgings. After a few more dated Eva told Eric she was going to have a baby they didn’t want to get married so Eric gave her enough money to keep her going but she refuses the money because she thinks that it has been stolen. She was right though it had been stolen off his father’s desk. This shows that like Gerald Eric is not trustworthy neither.
The inspector then leaves, and the family are arguing Gerald tells the family that he doesn’t think that the inspector was real so they phone the local infirmary and they say that there has been no woman brought in who had committed suicide by drinking a bottle of disinfectant. Everyone is relieved but then the phone rings it’s the police saying a girl has committed suicide on drinking a bottle of disinfectant and a police officer will be coming round to ask some questions.
We think now why might the inspector investigate a suicide is this because there seems to be many reasons, which have driven the victim to suicide. He might think there is a crime behind and because he wants to make the birling family realize that they are responsible for others and not just for themselves. A further aspect of the author’s intention to show, that the whole story is not real. I think that the inspector could be there conscience, a means of making people face up to the consequences of their selfish behavior.
At the beginning of the play the mood in the dining room is very happy because they are celebrating the engagement. They are obviously a bit tipsy because Sheila says to Eric “your sqwiffy” meaning that he had drunk a bit too much. But this is soon to change when the inspector calls because it leaves the family feeling guilty the growing feeling effect of the evenings events on the Birling family on a whole: they start to feel involved and start arguing among themselves they feel bitter.
My first impressions of the Birlings are that they are a rich family and quite stuck up they sometimes act as if none of them could do anything wrong and they are sometimes jealous of other people who have better looks than them we witness this sort of jalousie during the play. Because they have many privileges such as money, big house, servants then they should act in a responsible way towards those less fortunate than themselves. Arthur Birling comes across as a kind of arrogant, pompus and dismissive person. He is a prosperous factory owner, his first priority is to make money and get power! He strongly believes that “a man has to make his own way” and he is looking forward to receiving a knighthood. He does not accept responsibility to less privileged classes.