An Inspector Calls Summary of all 3 acts


Act 1

  • Birlings dresed for dinner and the room is highly decorated suggesting there are from the upper - class.
  • We're told the Birlings are celebrating a 'special occasion' - Sheila's engagement to Gerald
  • Birling give two speeches - One on Gerald engagement to Sheila and how this will help his business and the other on what a good time in the world this is. Birling is confident that war will not happen.
  • Mrs Birling, Sheila and Eric leave the dining room.
  • Mr Birling and Gerald discuss the engagement. Gerald says Lady Croft (his mother) disapproves of the engagement because Gerald will be marrying socially beneath him.
  • Mr Birling gives a speech about how ‘a man has to make his own way – has to look after himself – and his family too’.
  • He is interrupted when the doorbell rings and Inspector Goole arrives
  • Inspector Goole says that Eva Smith has died because she committed suicide by drinking disinfectant.
  • Mr Birling instantly tries to assert his superiority over Inspector Goole

Mr Birling reveals Eva Smith worked at his factory and he fired her for leading a group of women asking for a pay rise.

  • Gerald is on Mr Birling's side.
  • Eric is on Eva's side.   
  • Sheila enters and Inspector Goole proceeds to interrogate her. She does not instantly recognise Eva's name. But when Inspector Goole mentions Eva worked at Milward's, she remembers she had Eva fired. She was in a bad mood and thought Eva laughed at her.
  • When Inspector Goole says that Eva had changed her name to Daisy Renton, Gerald looks 'startled'.
  • Inspector Goole leaves the room and Sheila quizzes Gerald on his connection to Daisy Renton.
  • He admits he knew Daisy, and Sheila works out that Gerald was romantically involved with Daisy Renton the previous summer when he had been ignoring her.
  • Gerald begs Sheila not to tell Inspector Goole.

Act 2

  • The beginning of this act is filled with tension. Sheila and Gerald argue before Mrs Birling enters and tries to shoo Sheila away.
  • We learn Eric is a drunkard. Mrs Birling is upset by this.
  • Gerald admits that he met Daisy at the Palace Bar - ‘a favourite


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