An Inspector Calls Characters

These cards are about the characters of 'An inspector calls'.
They are in order of the questioning e.g Mr Birling then Sheila....
They feature quotes from the character and other key information. All quotes are in red, stage directions are in red and italics.

Feel free to leave any comments about how i can improve, i tried to add more colour but it wouldn't let me :)

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  • Created by: Beth C
  • Created on: 09-05-11 20:51

Mr Birling 1

Mr Birling (Arthur)
Questioned in Act 1
Married to Mrs Birling
Father to Sheila and Eric
Factory Owner

Involvement in Eva Smiths death:
Sacked her because she asked for a pay rise

At the start of the play:
-Likes to show off - talks about Titanic and the war
-Married into his social position
-Subservient to Mrs Birling (but he doesn't see it like that)
At the end of the play:
-No character Growth
-More aware of his families problems but he is more bothered about not getting his knighthood

1 of 12

Mr Birling 2

Key Moments and Effect:

  • When congratulating Sheila and Gerald, Mr Birling looks forward to a time when 'Crofts and Birlings' are no longer competing - business before his family.
  • Defensive when questioned - makes excuses for sacking Eva 'She had alot to she had to go' - remembers when questioned but not before.
  • Worries about families reputation being tarnished. 'When this comes out' - family seems less important.
  • Shocked/Angry about Eric, speaks 'angrily'
  • Relieved when he thinks it's a hoax, 'We've been had'
  • He takes the final phone call - head of family - before cycle repeats.
2 of 12

Sheila Birling 1

Sheila Birling
Questioned in Act 1
Engaged to Gerald Croft
Erics Sister

Involvement in Eva Smiths Death:
Got her sacked from her sales assistant job due to jealousy and being in a bad mood

At the start of the play:
- Childish - 'Mummy' 'Daddy'
- Innocent - teases Eric 'Squiffy'
- Looking forward to getting married 'It's wonderful [ring]'
At the end of the play:
- Grown up - takes responsibility - 'You began to learn something' ' I behaved badly too'
- No longer engaged - gives back her engagement ring
- She and Eric are the only people that accept responsibility for Eva's death at end

3 of 12

Sheila Birling 2

Key Moments and Effect:

  • Knows Gerald has a secret - 'except for all last summer when you never came near me'
  • When questioned she admits responsibility and shows remorse - 'I'll never, never do it again'
  • Gives Gerald back the ring after being questioned.
  • Cautions her mother not to hold back the truth - 'you may as well admit it'
  • First Person to understand Eric's involvement - 'but don't you see...'
4 of 12

Gerald Croft 1

Gerald Croft
Questioned in Act 2
Engaged to Sheila Birling

Involvement in Eva Smiths Death:
Had an affair with Daisy Renton (Eva) then left her

At the start of the play:

- Comfortable around the family - looks up to Mr Birling, sides with him and believes him.

At the end of the play:

- Proves inspector wasn't genuine or real
- Still wants to be part of the family - 'What about this ring?'

5 of 12

Gerald Croft 2

Key Moments and Effect:

  • Gives Sheila an engagement ring - 'He produces a ring case' - serious about marridge and about getting into the family as it is good for business.
  • Justifies Mr Birling sacking Eva - 'I think you were [justified]'
  • Reveals his affair with Daisy Renton (only does this when forced)
  • Wants Sheila to leave room when he is being questioned - makes it look like he is protecting her but is really protecting himself.
  • Doesn't accept blame - 'She didn't blame me at all'
  • Sheila breaks up with him - gives him back the engagement ring.
6 of 12

Mrs Birling 1

Mrs Birling
Questioned in Act 2
Married to Mr Birling
Mother to Sheila and Eric

Involvement in Eva Smiths death:
Refused to give Eva aid because Eva called herself 'Mrs Birling'

At the start of the play:
- Obviously in charge of the family - she has authority over Mr Birling.
- Strict on standards.
- Proud of her children.
At the end of the play:
- Refuses to accept any blame.
- Is forced to face Eric's drinking problems.

7 of 12

Mrs Birling 2

Key moments and effect:

  • Tells Mr Birling off for thanking the cook - 'You're not to say such things' - shows her class and snobbery
  • Tells Sheila that men 'have important work to do' - shows her opinion on womans place in society (fits in with the time period)
  • Absent from half of act 1 to the start of act 2
  • Tells the inspector she can't help - 'I don't think we can help you much' - she is confident in her families innocent and is in denial
8 of 12

Eric Birling 1

Eric Birling
Questioned in Act 3
Father of Eva's unborn baby
Sheila's Brother

Involvement in Eva Smiths death:
Had a relationship with her. stole money to help her but she left him

At the start of the play:
- Doesn't seem to fit in -
'not quite at ease'
- He is a drunk 'You're Squiffy' (Sheila)
At the end of the play:
- He accepts responsibility for what he did and blames Mrs Birling -
'Then you killed her'
-He and Sheila are the only people that take responsibility at the end - 'and I say the girl is dead and we all helped to kill her and that is what matters' 

9 of 12

Eric Birling 2

Key moments and effect:

  • Denial of being 'Squiffy' - won't accept his problem.
  • Tries to stand up to father - 'Yes I know, but still' 'Why shouldn't she [Eva] try for higher wages' - gets put down by Mr Birling though.
  • Absent in act 2 - walks out while Mrs Birling is being questioned.
  • Returns when curtain falls at end of act 2.
  • Questioned in act 3 - takes responsibility for being the dad and also for stealing - 'I got it from the office'
  • Feels ashamed of parents and lack of remorse - 'don't forget I am ashamed of you as well - yes, both of you'
10 of 12

Inspector Goole 1

Inspector Goole
He is a proffessional and is there to question the family and Gerald.
He makes all the characters examine thier actions

At the start of the play:
- Mysterious.
- Not Impressed by Mr Birling - answers with short business like responses - 'Quite so'

At the end of the play:
-Sums up the moral/point of the play - 'We are responsible for each other'

11 of 12

Inspector Goole 2

Key moments and effect:

  • Arrives and interupts happy chat.
  • Shows Mr Birling Picture - prompts his confession.
  • Tells Sheila that Eva worked at Millwards and shows her the picture.
  • Tells Gerald Eva changed her name to Daisy Renton.
  • Shows Mrs Birling the picture and is rude and abrupt to her to force her to tell the truth.
  • Agrees Eric Should have a quick drink before talking.
  • He is there to move the plot forward and to question the characters.
12 of 12




These are great Beth, haha, its great you wrote it all up :)

Beth C


I thought i may as well, then other people can use them if they want :)



good idea

i am sure people will use them



Thank you. This was helpful :)

Beth C


your welcome :)

Tom Chapman


Very helpful Thanks

Ben Smith


These are great... I like how it says which act each character is questioned in,this makes it easier to find quotes; really simple but never thought of it!!

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