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An inspector calls was written by J. B. Priestley in 1945. Set in the 1912’s in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. Arthur Birling is a prosperous manufacturer who is celebrating the engagement of his daughter Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft. The general mood at the time was pleased, excited, and generally happy. During this celebration an inspector calls and informs the family that a young girl has died from suicide in the infirmary. Slowly everyone begins to reveal a hidden secret. Tension rises and falls.
When the inspector leaves the family discover he was a fraud. A mild conflict is still in the atmosphere due to what was previously revealed, until the local police station calls informing that ‘a girl has just died-on her way to the infirmary-after swallowing some disinfectant. And a police inspector is on his way here-to ask some questions-‘. So the story practically re-starts again. The first to be affected by the news was Arthur Birling. He is shown a photograph of the girl who he sacked from his factory for wanting an increased wage and going on strike.
He begins to get agitated by the inspector because he believes that his actions had nothing to do with the suicide unlike the inspector. The two characters are against each other ‘no, sir, I can’t agree with you there’. (Birling) ‘Why not? ‘. The next to have some sort of confession about this incident is Shelia Birling. The inspector helps to build up her conscience because she got ‘Eva Smith’ fired from Milwards. He suggests that she was already on a downward spiral and this action consequently made her worse. Effectively she believes that it is her fault. Next in line is Gerald Croft.
He admits to having an affair with Daisy Renton (previously Eva Smith). This causes more strain upon the family. He tries to find an excuse ‘the girl saw me looking at her and then gave me a glance that was nothing more than a cry for help’. Again he attempts to defend himself before leaving to ‘walk about’- ‘I’m sorry Sheila. But it was all over and done with, last summer. I hadn’t set eyes on the girl for at least six months, I don’t come into this business’. He then has to leave to come to terms with recent events. On to Mrs Birling who has made comments since the beginning of act two.
Inspector Goole begins to question her although she is rather reluctant to make any reply that gives information. ‘And what business is it of yours? ‘. She is in the chair of the Brumley Women’s Charity Organisation. Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton came to her appealing for help. Mrs Birling refused on the basis that the girl had told too many lies before telling what was supposed to be the truth. She gives the plainest of advice, claiming that it’s the father of the child’s fault that she is in such a condition and gives a few choice ideas as to what could happen to the culprit.