Arthur Birling

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Sheila Birling

Important quotes to learn about Sheila:

"(Miserably) So I'm really responsible" - Sense of guilt

"(Distressed)" - Clearly affected by the death of Sheila

"She was a very pretty girl too" - Image is important to Sheila suggesting that she's superficial and self-indulgent

"If I could help her now I would" - Shows that she has a conscience 

"You and I aren't the same people who sat down to dinner" - Knows that things have changed/Clear division of opinion

Sheila gave the ring back to Gerald - Emphasises her strength as a woman

"It's you two being childish - trying not to face the facts" - Doesn't matter whether the Inspector is real or not because what happened still happened 

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Eric Birling

Important quotes to learn about Eric:

"Just keep quiet, Eric, and don't get excited" - Mr Birling knows that Eric has had too much to drink and is concerned he may something unnescessarily 

"That's something this public-school-and-varsity life you've had doesn't seem to teach you" - Has been to achieving schools and university but hasn't succeeded in life. Mr Birling appears to know more about life than Eric

"Besides, you're not the type - you don't get drunk" - We know that he does

"Your trouble is -you've been spoilt" - Had too easy of a life?

"Not the kind of father a chap could go to when he's in trouble" - Doesn't have a very good relationship with his father

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Gerald Croft

Important quotes to learn about Gerald:

"Hope I can make you happy as you deserve to be" - Ironic

"All right. I knew her. Let's leave it at that" - Shows some reluctance to share what happened

"I suppose it was inevitable" - So common for working class women to be exploited that it's almost perceived as 'normal'

"We can keep it from him" - Is fully aware that he's done wrong and isn't prepared to face the consequences

"She was pretty, warm-hearted and intensely grateful"- Convincing himself that what he has done was right to an extent as the outcome was positive in the short term

"At least you were nice to her for a bit" (the Inspector) 

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Mrs Birling

Important quotes to learn about Mrs Birling:

"A rather cold woman" - Rarely shows affection and looks down on most people

"I think she'd only have herself to blame" - Strong, opinionated views

"I did nothing I'm ashamed of" - Takes no responsibility for her foul actions. 

"Go and look for the father of the child - It's his responsibility" - Irony as her own son is the father. Allows her to verbally trap herself

"You're quite wrong to suppose that I shall regret what I did" - Arrogance

"Don't contradict me like that" - Treats Sheila like a child

"You're behaving like a hysterical child" - Embarrassed 

Social Snob - Antagonistic with the Inspector (undermines her completely) 

Misdirected, critical and immoral 

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The Inspector

Important Quotes to learn about the Inspector:

A man of "masiveness, solidity and purposefullness" - An imposing figure who will dominate the play and will achieve his aims

"One person and one line of enquiry at a time" - Wants to do things his way in an orderly manner. This allows Priestley to build the play as a 'chain of events'

"It's my duty to ask questions" - Shows authority and takes his responsibility seriously

"He never seemed like an ordinary police inspector" - He wasn't usual? Extraordinary?

Mouthpiece of morality

Voice of conscience

The Inspector is a dramatic device - adds to the tension

Prophetic statement - "Blood and fire and anguish"

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Arthur Birling

Important Quotes to learn:

"Your father and I have been friendly rivals in business" - Business Prospects

"I speak as a hard-headed business man" - Portrays Arrogance

"I say there isn't a chance of war" - Contextually Wrong/Dramatic Irony

"I was an Alderman for years" - Attempts to give the Inspector a good example

"Nothing whatever to do with the wretched girls suicide" - Beholds no sympathy

"I still can't accept any responsibilty" - Cannot acknowledge his wrong-doings

"I dont like that tone" (to him) - Shows that the Inspector isn't intimidated

"She had to go " -No word about it

Money, Power, Hypocrisy, Unnerved, Narrow-Minded, Misguided and Pompous

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