An Inspector Calls (characters)

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  • Created by: Zahra
  • Created on: 04-05-13 20:46

Inspector Goole

The Inspector is a man of 'massiveness, solidity and purposefulness'

The Inspector follows the rule 'one person and one line of enquiry at a time. Otherwise there's a muddle'. The Inspector wants to do everything his way, and he likes to do things in chronological order - this allows J. B. Priestley to build the play as a chain of events

'It's my duty to ask questions' - he takes his responsibility seriously, and shows the Birling family and Gerald that they (too) should of taken their responsibilities seriously

Sheila says 'he never seemed like an ordinary police Inspector'. The word 'ordinary' could mean usual or it could mean extraordinary, suggesting that the Inspector was more than human

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Mr Arthur Birling

Mr Birling is :
-  a 'heavy-looking, rather portentous man' - Mr Birling's size helps him look more threatening 
-  'a hard-headed practical man of business'

Mr Birling says:
-  'Yes, my dear, I know - I'm talking too much' - He likes to air his views and is aware that he tends to lead the conversation; suggesting that he has a high opinion of his own importance 
-  'I'm a public man -' He expects respect as he has been a member of the town council, Lord Mayor and a magistrate 

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Mrs Sybil Birling

Mrs Birling is:
-  'a rather cold woman' - Mrs Birling is not a friendly person and rarely shows any affection
-  'her husband's social superior'

Mrs Birling says:
-  'Please don't contradict me like that' - Mrs Birling hates people to disagree with her. She is used to being listened to and having her opinions accepted as right or correct
-  'It's disgusting to me' - Mrs Birling says Gerald's affair with Eva was 'disgusting' and she cannot accept it

Inspector Goole says Mrs Birling was 'the most prominent member of the committee' - Mrs Birling is the most powerful and respected member of the group from the Charity, and it is her (Mrs Birling) opinion/decision that influences the final decision

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Sheila Birling

Sheila says:
-  'Oh - how horrible! Was it an accident?' - Sheila is shocked to hear about the death of a young woman. She doesn't think someone could drink disinfectant by accident; this suggests that she can't imagine someone not having a lot to live for 
-  'I would miss it for worlds' is what Sheila said when she was told to leave the room, whilst Gerald tells his story about his affair with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. Sheila's curiosity needs to be satisfied and she is strong enough to hear the full story
-  'I had her turned out of a job' - Sheila is prepared to accept responsibility for what she's done 
-  'it's you two who are being childish - trying not to face the facts' - Sheila believes whether or not the Inspector was real or not is doesn't matter, they still did a bad thing. 

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Eric Birling

-  Mr Birling: 'Just keep quiet, Eric, and don't get excited' - Mr Birling recognises that Eric has had too much to drink and might easily say something that he shouldn't say

-  Mr Birling: 'That's something this public-school-and-Varsity life you've had doesn't seem to teach' - Eric has been to an expensive school and then university, but Mr Birling feels he knows more of life than his son

-  Mrs Birling: 'Besides, you're not the type - you don't get drunk' - We know that Eric does get drunk, and that the opposite of what his mother says is true (because his mother refuses to accept that Eric drinks, maybe a bit too much)

-  Mr Birling: 'Your trouble is - you've been spoilt' - Mr Birling believes as the boss' son, Eric has been spoilt and privileged

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Gerald Croft

Gerald is:
-  a 'easy, well-bred young man-about-town' - Gerald gets on easily with people, he is self confident and assured. Looks as if he knows a lot about life

-  Mrs Birling: 'That was clever of you' - He has the sense of what to do and when to do it, and has the approval of Mrs Birling

-  Mr Birling: 'You're just the kind of son-in-law I always wanted' - Mr Birling sees Gerald as being like himself; a determined man of business, Mr Birling sees the engagement as bringing the two family businesses together

-  Gerald: 'I'm rather more - upset - by this business than I probably appear to be' - Gerald has been hiding his (true) feelings, like an English gentleman is expected to do. Deep down he is really sad about the girl's death and has a strong feeling of responsibility for what has happened

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Eva Smith/Daisy Renton

Eva Smith/Daisy Renton:
-  'a lively good-looking girl - country bred' and a 'good worker too' - Mr Birling had a good opinion of Eva Smith; the fact she was bred in the country made her naive, less worldly-wise than an average city girl

-  Mr Birling: 'She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go' - Eva Smith had spoken up for all the other girls who were on strike and was showing good leadership qualities against Mr Birling, he didn't like that

-  Sheila: 'She was very pretty and looked as if she could take care of herself' - Sheila judged the ******* her appearance, and she didn't think to think about the difficulties that Eva Smith would face to get another job

-  Inspector: 'Now she had to try something else' - Eva Smith became 'something else', and was meeting men in a place used by prostitutes

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