"An Inspector Calls" By J. B. Priestley

1128 words - 5 pages

Act 1, pages 13-14Inspector's first interview, with Mr. Birling, in presence of Eric and GeraldWhat the act is about:Birling family and Gerald Croft are having a dinner to celebrate Sheila Birling's and Gerald Croft's future marriage, when all of a sudden an Inspector calls and announces about a suicide which took place a few hours before. He questions Arthur Birling and his daughter Sheila and it turns out that they both knew the dead girl and somehow contributed to her death. Inspector then shows the photograph to Gerald and the impressions on his face give away the fact that he knew the girl. Sheila talks to him while they are along in the room and finds out that the dead girl - Eva Smith ...view middle of the document...

- Birling then says that he recognizes her to be one of the employees whom he had discharged, and Eric gets into the conversation and asks whether that was a reason for suicide. Such behavior is proof of his youth and how naive he is.- Birling tells him to be quite, as if he was trying to show his power. As it is said further in the play, Eric never sees him as a father who could give an advice; he is not close with him: 'You're not the kind of chap a man could turn to when he's in trouble'. He is very ignorant of his responsibility to society. Earlier in the play he proves his lack of intelligence and political awareness: ' Everything to lose and nothing to gain"- Then Gerald interrupts, suggesting that he should leave. This is an evidence of his education, intelligence - he understands that there are some private things being opened up which Birling might not want him to know, and as he doesn't want to make him feel uncomfortable ( He knows that his mother doesn't really support his relationship with Birling's daughter )- Birling, trying to make Gerald think that he is tough and strong, or maybe trying to connect Gerald to the family, says that he can stay. He then accentuates Inspector's attention on the fact that Gerald is the son of the owner of Crofts United, and this is another evidence of his short-mind. It becomes clear that he only welcomes Croft into the family as he represents a business link between his firm and that of Gerald's father. He somehow tries to threaten the Inspector by mentioning that Croft is soon going to become a part of their family.- The manner of Birling's speech reminds a typical upper class stereotype. His lack of being able to comprehend future makes it clear for the reader what a Fool he is....

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