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‘AN INSPECTOR CALLS’ Activity worksheets - Anglo

Date of publication: 2017-08-04 18:36

Sheila wonders whether this would excuse everyone&rsquo s behavior, but it does not, as Gerald still committed his affair, Eric impregnated an unmarried girl, and Arthur and Sybil behaved uncharitably to girls in need. Arthur calls the hospital and confirms that no self-inflicted deaths have been recorded for weeks. He says resolutely that Inspector Goole has tricked the family and that there is nothing to fear. Sheila worries aloud that Arthur will ignore the lessons the family was just beginning to learn. The phone rings, and Arthur answers. He alerts the family that a girl has been admitted to the hospital just now, and that her death is a suicide. As the play ends, Arthur relays to the family that a police inspector is headed to the house to begin an inquiry.

An Inspector Calls

The passage is also critical because it shows that Goole's motives for visiting the Birling family weren't just moral or criminal punishment. Instead of ruining the Birlings' reputations, he wanted to teach them to be better people. While certain members of the Birling family seem not to have understood Goole's point (Arthur Birling, for example), others, such as Sheila, seem to have gotten the message--perhaps Sheila will try to be a better person from now on.

Inspector Goole Character and Quote Notes - An Inspector

Goole's statement can be taken in any number of senses. First, it's a sign that the Birlings, in spite of the new information they've received, are still making a big mistake: they're focusing too exclusively on each other's private   faults, instead of showing real compassion for the deceased, or accepting the larger social ramifications of their actions (the fact that because they are so wealthy and powerful, they have undue influence over others). Second, Goole's statement reminds us that his investigation has permanently changed the Birling family. It's possible that the family will be permanently disgraced, or fall apart from within. Yet it's also possible that the Birlings--particularly Sheila--will learn from the experience and try to become better people.

SparkNotes: An Inspector Calls: Plot Overview

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Inspector Goole now turns to Mrs. Birling. Mrs. Birling continues her claims that she shouldn't have to sit through Inspector Goole's tiresome investigation: she's from a good family, and therefore can't be guilty of any crimes. And yet Sheila interjects, telling her mother that it's time to stop pretending to be good and "putting on airs." The Birlings are a wealthy family, it's true, but just because they're wealthy doesn't mean they're inherently good if anything, their wealth has allowed them to commit more crimes and get away with them scot-free.

Though responsibility itself is a central theme of the play, the last act of the play provides a fascinating portrait of the way that people can let themselves off the hook. If one message of the play is that we must all care more thoroughly about the general welfare, it is clear that the message is not shared by all. By contrasting the older Birlings and Gerald with Sheila and Eric, Priestley explicitly draws out the difference between those who have accepted their responsibility and those who have not.

Sheila isn't an entirely "good" character, but she seems to differ from her family in wanting to make genuine moral progress. Similarly, she's tired of her parents for pretending to be good at all times, simply because of their wealth. It seems perfectly obvious to Sheila that wealthy people shouldn't be held immune from all guilt or punishment--just the opposite is true.

(Goole= Geist spirit in death) isn’t a real inspector more something like god because he makes them all fell guilty. His manners are quite extraordinary, rude& assertive. One of the main reasons to visit the Birling family is to make them realise, what responsibilities they have& that their behaviour has an influence on others (opposite to Mr. Birling’s moral).

Here, Mrs. Birling's hypocrisy is clear. She insists that Inspector Goole should leave as soon as possible, sparing the family any further consternation. Her reasons for insisting so are fascinating: she claims that good, respectable people like her family members have nothing of substance to learn from the life of a poor girl like Eva Smith. Even worse, Mrs. Birling cites the fact that her husband used to be a Lord Mayor, and still works as a magistrate. Such information, we're left to assume, is supposed to mean that Mr. Birling is above all moral suspicion. High-ranking people can't possibly be bad!


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Birling's response to Eva Smith illustrates the flaws in the free market. It's all very well for someone like Birling to preach sanctimoniously about freedom to run one's own business--but at the end of the day, his "philosophy" is just an excuse for his own greediness. As Eric points out, a country isn't truly free if people like Eva can't find a good place to work. Birling's smug definition of freedom, then, is sorely lacking in substance.

After Inspector Goole leaves, Gerald reenters with a shocking revelation--Inspector Goole wasn't a policeman at all. The Birling parents are delighted by this news, but Sheila maintains that it doesn't matter whether or not the Inspector was real. Unlike Arthur Birling, who insists that, if the Inspector was a fake, all their problems have been solved, Sheila takes the point of view that they're guilty either way. Arthur Birling is most concerned with the social repercussions of his crimes, while Sheila cares more about her own sense of guilt. Inspector Goole might not put her family in prison, but he's still exposed the family's complicity in a horrible crime and an unjust society, which is far worse.

When the ladies leave the men to their port, Mr Birling has a 'man to man' chat with Gerald and Eric, advising them that a man needs to look after himself and his own family and not worry about the wider community. As he is telling them this, the door bell rings. Inspector Goole enters, an impressive, serious man whom none of them has heard of.

He doesn’t change lot during the story stays a capitalist (just interested in money& profit). He seems to agree completely with Mr. Birling, quite the same attitude of live.

The Inspector turns to Gerald and asks if he knows someone named Daisy Renton. Sheila realizes, from Gerald&rsquo s expression, that Gerald knows this name. When all but Sheila and Gerald leave the room, Sheila accuses Gerald of having had an affair with Daisy Renton the previous summer. Gerald admits to this. He asks Sheila to hide this information from the Inspector, but she says it won&rsquo t be possible because the Inspector probably already knows. Act One ends.

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