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An Inspector Calls

Class And Society

"A fairly large suburban house, belonging to a prosperous manufacturer."
"Her [Mrs. B's] husband's social superior."
"It's exactly the same port your father gets from him." ­ Trying to equal Gerald Croft's father, who owns
a larger shoe manufacturing business than him.

Page 2

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Guilt And Responsibility

"A man has to make his own way ­ has to look after himself ­ and his family too, of course."[Birling]
"I don't see where I come into this"[Birling]
"If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we'd had anything to do
with, it…

Page 3

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"He creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidarity and purposefulness."
"But after all it's better to ask for the earth than to take it."[Inspector]
"I've thought that it would do us all a bit of good if sometimes we tried to put ourselves in the place of…

Page 4

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"A prosperous manufacturer."
"BIRLING is a heavylooking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties with fairly easy manners but
rather provincial in his speech."
"The kind of soninlaw I always wanted."[Birling]
"Perhaps we may look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing but are…

Page 5

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A firm believer in capital.
o "For lower costs and higher prices."[Birling]
Believes, like Gerald, that women should be protected from unpleasant things.
o "(Sharply) Sheila, take your mother along to the drawingroom."[Birling]
Doesn't want the women to hear Eric's story.
Believes in every man for himself.
o "Community and…

Page 6

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Sheila Birling

"A pretty girl in her early twenties very pleased with life and rather excited."
"Yes ­ except for all last summer, when you never came near me, and I wondered what had
happened to you." ­ At the start Sheila is too shy to properly challenge Gerald…

Page 7

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"Because you're not the kind of father a chap could go to when he's in trouble."[Eric]
o Standing up to his father.
"Damn you, damn you."[Eric]
"I'm ashamed of you as well."[Eric]
"He was our police inspector all right."[Eric]
"(Shouting) And I say the girl's dead and we all helped…

Page 8

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Order of interrogation is specifically chosen for maximum impact, particularly Eric's.
Cliffhangers at end of acts, orchestrated by the Inspector.
Set in real time. No gaps between the events on stage, they all happen as they should.

Staging Of The Play

First performance was in the USSR in 1945. Shows…

Page 9

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o Eric almost attacks his father at the end.
o Lights up on audience at Inspector's final speech.
The light is "pink and intimate" before the Inspector arrives and then "brighter and harder" at his arrival.


"A man has to make his own way"[Birling]
"Community and all that nonsense."[Birling]…




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