Analysis of An Inspector Calls The play revolves around the death of Eva Smith who is said to have
committed suicide after her unfortunate meetings with each of the
Birling’s and Gerald. At the start of the play the Birling’s are
celebrating Sheila’s engagement with Gerald, when unexpectedly
inspector Goole arrives to question the Birling’s and Gerald. The
inspector tries to show and convince the characters how and what parts
they played in Eva’s death. All the characters succumb to the
inspector’s unconventional way of questioning and tell him how they
each were in relation to Eva’s death. Each character played a part
towards the eventual demise of Eva and they were all responsible for
her death in one way or another. I believe that it was not one
particular incident that led to her suicide, but that it was the chain
of events that the characters participated in.
After the inspector departs Gerald finds out that the inspector was
not in fact an inspector and the whole thing was a hoax. Sheila and
Eric are still in repentance about what they had done to Eva but the
rest were comforted by the news and were very much relieved. Then they
all are shocked when they receive a phone call from the infirmary
saying that a girl called Eva Smith had just come in to the infirmary
after swallowing some disinfectant and a inspector is on his way to
question them all; this is where the play ends.
The first character I will look at is Mr. Birling who is a
self-absorbed “hard headed business man”. He also likes dishing out
advice to youngsters even when it is not called for. Mr. Birling is
also a very business minded person and has a rather peculiar way of
thinking either something will promote his business or demote it.
Mr. Birling is also somewhat of a visionary. He feels that only good
can happen and the world can only progress. He feels that the
inevitable war will not occur and the titanic will not sink.
“Germans don’t want war, nobody want’s war” “In a year or two we’ll
have aeroplanes that will be able to go anywhere. The Titanic she
sails next week, New York in 5 days unsinkable absolutely unsinkable.”
The author JB Priestly brings out the dramatic ironies here, using the
stubborn and shrewd character of Mr. Birling, because the war does
commence and the unsinkable Titanic sinks. The audience knows this and
immediately finds his character both ignorant and with an arrogant
outlook to the future.
Just before the Inspector comes in, Mr. Birling is giving a speech to
both Gerald and his son, Eric. This information is based on what he
views on society, which happens to be that society is immoral and that
it is “every man for himself.” Mr. Birling is so caught up in his own
Big-headedness and prestige that he...