English Literature: An Inspector Calls Analysis Act 3

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What did the inspector have to do to the Birling Family? What did this lead to?
The inspector just had to open the cracks and the Birling family broke apart. Once the ball got rolling - the family self-destructed.
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What doesn't Eric understand?
How middle class men are supposed to behave. His parents think he's acted worse than Gerald, who knew how to have an affair without creating a scandal. It makes the audience start blaming his parents for his upbringing.
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Even though Eric regrets his actions - what does he language show?
It shows his immaturity as he calls Eva 'a good sport' and 'pretty' - this sounds insensitive given how badly he treated her. He says she treated him as a 'kid'.
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What did Eric force Eva to do?
He forced her to have sex with him and got her pregnant - he was so drunk he throated to cause a 'row' if she didn't let him in to her flat.
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Who says 'you know, don't you?'
Eric, he's ready to confess and he has already guessed that the Inspector's helped everyone realise he's the father of Eva's child.
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What is Arthur Birling appalled by?
Not the suicide - by the theft and shame.
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Talk about Arthur Birling's actions during Eric's confession.
Birling starts to take the situation seriously. His son has stolen money from the company to support Eva. He asks the women to leave in the middle of Eric's story.
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Why was Arthur Birling so appalled by Eric's actions?
Eric's involvement went too far for the Birling family. He'd have had an illegitimate child with a prostitute. This would have brought shame on the family.
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Talk about the theme 'Family life'
Sybil's kept a polite household and a perfect reputation for the family, but at the cost of a close and understanding relationship with her children.
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What was the turning point in the action?
Every member of the family had let down their defensives, so they were primed and ready for the Inspector's speech.
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Why does Sybil Birling (and Sheila) return to the dining room?
Sybil needed to know 'what was happening' and disobeys her husband because she realises how involved she is in the story.
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What does Eric miss when he is outside of the house?
He doesn't hear that his mother was involved in Eva's and his child's death. When he finds out he is furious and links her failure to understand to his own childhood, 'you don't understand anything, you never did'
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Talk about the theme 'Learning about life'
Birling say's he's 'learnt plenty' but not about how and why he's been wrong. He's learnt how Sheila and Eric really behave and think. and he's not impressed.
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Talk about people being ashamed of their own/others actions.
First Sybil tells Eric she's 'absolutely ashamed' of his drinking. Eric then says he's ashamed of his parents' actions. Finally Sheila says she's ashamed of her own actions. She shoulders the blame, and asks everyone else to do the same.
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What have the parents learnt?
The parents haven't learnt anything. They're more focused on trying to keep all revelations in the family. The only think they'd feel ashamed of is a scandal.
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What happens to the Birling family structure?
It collapses.
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What does the inspector say at the start of act three?
He says that they'll have plenty of time to 'adjust' their family relationships.
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What are the first words after the Inspectors exit?
Birling is blaming Eric for their problems. This signals a decline from the Inspector's moral speech into petty squabbling.
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What does Arthur Birling try to do after the inspector has left?
Birling doesn't want anything to change. He's desperate to get things back to how they were - with him in charge.
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What does the first part of the Inspector's speech do?
It sums up how each person at the dinner party played their part in Eva's short life.
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What does the second part of the Inspector's speech do?
Get's his message across.
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What was Arthur Birling's part in Eva's death?
Started it all by sacking Eva Smith.
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What was Sybil Birling's part in Eva's death?
Refused Eva Smith a "pitiable little bit of charity"
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What was Sheila Birling's part in Eva's death?
Turned Eva out of her second job.
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What was Eric Birling's part in Eva's death?
'used Eva' because he was drunk.
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What was Gerald Croft's part in Eva's death?
Kept Eva as his mistress and made her happy for a while.
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Who does the Inspector link Eva Smith to in the second part of his speech?
The "millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths" - the rest of society or even the rest of humanity.
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What does the Inspector say to show that everyone's affected in the second part of his speech?
He says everyone is "intertwined" and "members of one body" - everyone shares "their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness" because everyone's affected.
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What does the Inspector warn in the second part of his speech?
If people don't learn to be more responsible, they'll be forced to understand their mistakes in "blood and anguish". The Inspector's foreseeing all the suffering that will result from selfishness, including the world wars.
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What's the issue at the end of play?
The Birling's should be learning their lessons but they're not going to learn anything from anybody.
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What do Sybil and Arthur think when they find our the inspector might have been a fake?
They think it makes "all the difference if it wasn't a real police visit.
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What do Sheila and Eric think when they find our the inspector might have been a fake?
They think that "he was our police officer all right". It doesn't matter to them if the Inspector was a fake, he's shown them the truth.
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Talk about the theme 'Writer's Techniques'
Priestly gives Gerald the role of a detective at the end of a murder mystery - he pieces together the events and summarises it for the others. But instead of solving the crime, he makes it seem as if there was no crime at all.
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After what does the Inspector enter? and what was the Inspectors message.
After Birling has just said that "a man has to mind his own business. The inspector's message was about social responsibility.
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After what does the phone ring? How does this link to the Inspectors first entrance?
After Birling laughs at "the famous younger generation who know it all". Birling still thinks he knows it all - he's not learnt the Inspectors lesson.
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What happens to the family after Gerald returns?
It splits further.
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What does Gerald say he's found out when he's returned? How does Birling rectify that?
That there's no Inspector Goole. Birling calls the police station to confirm that Goole wasn't a real inspector, and starts to think of the night's events as a hoax, with himself as the victim.
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How does Mrs B rewrite her role when she finds out the Inspector was a fake?
She says she's proud that she "didn't give into him"
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How does the play almost do a full circle of events?
Gerald and Mr and Mrs Birling are relaxed and joking. The atmosphere seems just like it did at the start of the play. It's almost a happy ending.
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What does Gerald do to try and sort things out with Sheila? What's her reaction?
He tells her "everything's alright now" whilst offering her the ring. She says it's too soon to be thinking about that and forgetting all she learnt this evening.
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What does Gerald point out about the photographs?
That they might have been different photographs of different girls. Gerald calls the infirmary and confirms there's been no suicide - Birling is very relieved and considers himself guilt free.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What doesn't Eric understand?

Back

How middle class men are supposed to behave. His parents think he's acted worse than Gerald, who knew how to have an affair without creating a scandal. It makes the audience start blaming his parents for his upbringing.

Card 3

Front

Even though Eric regrets his actions - what does he language show?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did Eric force Eva to do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Who says 'you know, don't you?'

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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