AIC Key Quotes

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Mr Birling

  • "There isn't a chance of war"
  • "Unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"
  • "I'm a hard-headed man of business"
  • "You have to understand that a lot of young men --"
  • "If we were all responsible for everything that happened to anyone we had anything to do with, it would be awkward wouldn't it?"
  • "And to that I say fiddlesticks! The Germans don't want war"
  • "Well it's my duty to keep labour costs down" "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages?[Eric]"
  • "The whole story is just a load of moonshine!
  • "If you don't come down hard on these people, they'll soon be asking for the Earth"
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Mrs Birling

  • "When you're married you'll understand that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend nearly all of their time and energy into their business"
  • "Girls of that class--" "helping deserving cases"
  • "But I think she had only herself to blame"
  • "I think it was simply a piece of gross impertinence" (Classist views about Eva using her name)
  • "I'll tell you what I told her. Go and look for the father of the child. It's his responsibility"
  • "drunken young idler"
  • "I blame the young man who was the father of the child she was going to have"
  • "If the girl's death is down to anybody, it's him"
  • I don't believe it, I wont believe it"
  • "No - Eric - please - I didn't know - I didnt understand-"
  • "You're behaving like an hysterical child tonight"
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Sheila Birling

  • "I think it's perfect. Now I really feel engaged"
  • "But these girls aren't cheap labour. They're people.
  • (Miserably) So I'm really responsible?
  • "I was in a furious temper."
  • (laughs rather hysterically) Why - you fool - he knows. Of course he knows."
  • "I know I'm to blame - and I'm desperately sorry."
  • "There's something I don't understand about you."
  • "You musn't build up a kind of wall between us and that girl. If you do, the Inspector will just break it down."
  • "He's giving us the rope - so that we'll hang ourselves."
  • "The point is, you dont't seem to have learnt anything"
  • "Between us we drove the girl to suicide"
  • "Fire and blood and anguish"
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Eric Birling

  • "not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive"
  • "(Suddenly guffaws) Sorry I just felt I had to laugh"
  • "Unless Eric's been up to something (Gerald to Eric and Mr Birling)"
  • "I was in that state where a chap easily turns nasty"
  • "You're not the kind of father a chap can go to when he's in trouble"
  • "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages?"
  • He drinks "pretty hard"
  • "Oh - my - god! How stupid this all is!"
  • "I'm ashamed of you[his parents]." "I don't give a damn now."
  • "We did her in all right."
  • "Damn you, damn you (To Mrs Birling)."
  • "You don't understand anything. You never did. You never even tried."
  • He saw Eva as "a good sport"
  • He treated her as if she were "an animal, a thing, not a person"
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Gerald Croft

  • "I don't come in to this suicide business."
  • "I'm rather more - upset - by this business than I probably appear to be."
  • "Everything's all right now Sheila. (holds up ring) What about this ring?"
  • "because I was sorry for her"
  • He later made her his mistress because she was "young and pretty and warm-hearted - and intensely grateful"
  • "Unless Eric has been up to something"
  • "But how do we know it's the same girl"
  • "We've no proof it was the same photograph, and so no proof it was the same girl"
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Inspector Goole

  • His name is a homophone for 'ghoul' which is another word for 'ghost'
  • "The lighting should be pink and initimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder"
  • "Each of you helped to kill her"
  • "We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish."
  • "We are members of one body"
  • Structure of the play is symbolic of the early 20th century on how life repeated itself - so the Inspector failed at his duty
  • "I know I'm to blame and I'm desperately sorry." - so the Inspector succeeded 
  • "I'm waiting" "I haven't much time"
  • "There are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths"
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