An Inspector Calls - Plot

  • Created by: abbiedye
  • Created on: 04-07-18 14:57

Act 1 - Part 1

  • The Birlings are celebrating and they are very happy
  • The Inspector interrupts to discuss Eva Smith's suicide
  • Eva was sacked two years ago from Mr Birling's factory
  • The discussion of the suicide causes conflict on stage between Mr Birling, Eric and the Inspector
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Quotes from Act 1 Part 1

- Arthur Birling: 'It's one of the happiest nights of my life.'

- Gerald: '[laughs] You seem to be a nice well-behaved family'

- Inspector: 'I'd like some information, if you don't mind'

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Act 1 - Part 2

  • Sheila feels sorry for Eva Smith
  • Sheila confesses that she complained about the girl and got her sacked from Milwards
  • Eva Smith changed her name to Daisy Renton
  • Gerald admits to Sheila that he had an affair with Daisy
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Quotes from Act 1 Part 2

- Sheila: 'What do you mean by saying that? You talk as if we were responsible -'

- Sheila: '[miserably] So I'm really responsible?'

- Gerald: 'So - for God's sake - don't say anything to the Inspector'

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Act 2 - Part 1

  • Gerald still hopes to hide his involvement with Eva / Daisy
  • The Inspector tells Gerals and Sheila that they are all responsible
  • Mrs Birling behaves in a superior way to the Inspector, Gerald and Sheila
  • Gerald reveals the details of his affair with Daisy, and Sheila breaks off the engagement
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Quotes from Act 2 Part 1

- Inspector: 'we'll have to share our guilt'

- Mrs Birling: 'Girls of that class'

- Gerald: 'All she wanted was to talk - a little friendliness'

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Act 2 - Part 2

  • Eva was pregnant and asked for Mrs Birling's charity for help
  • Mrs Birling didn't like the girl and used her influence to have the claim rejected
  • The Inspector manipulates Mrs Birling into stating that the father of Eva's child was entirely to blame for her death
  • The audience and the characters on stage gradually realise that Eric is the father
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Quotes from Act 2 Part 2

- Mrs Birling: 'I'm very sorry. But I think she only had herself to blame.'

- Mrs Birling: 'As if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money!'

- Sheila: '[with sudden alarm] Mother - stop - stop!'

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Act 3 - Part 1

  • Eric met Eva and made her pregnant
  • Eric accuses his mother of killing Eva and the baby, and says his father is unapproachable
  • The Inspector reminds the Birlings that they are all responsible for Eva Smith's death
  • The Inspector states his belief that all members of society need to look after each other
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Quotes from Act 3 Part 1

- Mr Birling (to Sheila): '[very sharply] You heard what I said'

- Eric: 'You're not the kind of father a chap can go to when he's in trouble.'

- Mr Birling (to Eric): '[furious, intervening] Why you hysterical young fool - get back - or I'll -'

- Inspector: 'We don't live alone. We are members of on body. We are responsible for each other.'

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Act 3 - Part 2

  • Gerald reveals that the Inspector wasn't a real police officer
  • They find out that there is no dead girl at the infirmary
  • Arthur, Sybil and Gerald relax, thining everything can be covered up and forgotten
  • Sheila and Eric still feel guilty and cannot understand the others' behaviour
  • The play ends with a phone call from the police saying a girl has died and an Inspector is on his way to the house
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Quotes from Act 3 Part 2

- Sheila: 'Everything we said had happened really had happened'

- Arthur: '[heartily] Nonsense! You'll have a good laugh over it yet'

- Sheila: 'You began to learn something. And now you've stopped.'

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