'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1945 but set in 1912. The Birling family are an upper class family. The play opens with the Birling's celebrating the engagement of their daughter, Sheila, to Gerald Croft. The pink lighting suggests a sense of perfection. When the women leave the table, Mr Arthur Birling advises his son, Eric, and Gerald to look after themselves and their family, forgetting the wider community. At this point, the family are interrupted by the doorbell. Enter Inspector Goole- sounds like 'ghoul'. Goole explains he is there to investigate a young girl's suicide, Eva Smith. Mr. Birling admits he sacked Eva from his factory when she played a vital role in a strike, demanding higher wages. He does not accept any responsibilty for her suicide. Inspector Goole then moves onto Sheila Birling. Eva had found a job at Milward's fashion shop. When Sheila was shopping one day she felt that Eva was laughing at her and , in a jealous outburst, forced the manager t fire Eva. Sheila feels hugely responsible for the suicide. Goole then explains that Eva changed her name to Daisy Renton. Mrs Birling tries to get the Inspector to leave but he refuses. Eric Birling is gradually becoming more intoxicated. We then discover that Gerald had met Daisy at the Palace Bar, rescuing her from a rough-handed fellow drinker. When he discovered she was penniless, Gerald arranged for her to stay in a friend's empty apartment. After a couple of months, he ends the affair, giving her some money to go on her way. Sheila is glad her fiance is honest about the affair. Gerald leaves to go for a walk. Goole then moves onto Mrs. Birling. He shows her the photo of Daisy and she admits that Daisy/Eva did approach her charity for help as she was pregnat and alone but Mrs.
Birling turned her away as Eva called herself 'Birling'. Mrs. Birling told the girl to get the father to support her but Eva/Daisy would not ask as she believed the father was giving her stolen money. Mrs B shows no remorse. Sheila realises her brother, Eric is the father. Much to his parents' disgust, Eric admits that he also met Eva in the Palace Bar. He took her back to her lodgings and, after he almost became violent, Eva slept with him. She would not marry him as she knew he did not love her. Eric began to steal money from his father's office to support her. The Birling's are outraged. The younger generation of the Birlings are riddled with guilt for their involvement. As the Inspectorleaves he makes a powerful speech about looking after one another, a sense of community responsibility. Gerald returns, announbcing that he believes Inspector Goole to be a conman. They call the police station and their suspicions are confirmed. They also call the infirmary and discover there has not been a suicide for months. Mr and Mrs Birling are delighted. Sheila and Eric maintain that they are all still guilty of their crimes. The phone rings- Mr Birling is told that a police inspector is on his way to discuss the suicide of a girl. For further information/analysis please contact firstname.lastname@example.org