An Inspector Calls



Play Overview

* Act 1 - intorduces characters, establishing an idea of a happy & united family looking forward to the future with degree of confidence

* No sub-plot to distract from central theme

* In retrospect there are a no. of hints, all is not what it seems, however they're not particularly obvious till later in the play. There's nothing to warn us of the inspector's visit.

* Events gather speed & it's not long till we are informed of Birling and Sheila's involvment with Eva Smith.

* Tension increases as Gerald's affair is unveiled & Sheila realises they are all implicated, "he is giving us rope - so that we'll hang ourselves"

* Mrs Birling's attempts to shift blame for Eva's suicide leads her to blame Eric - the father of the unborn child. Tension heightened by dramatic entrance of Eric. 

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Play Overview

* With departure of the Inspector it would appear that what follows will be something of an anti-climax as the Inspectors Identity is put into doubt by a series of observations made by the Birling family & Gerald. Even Eva's existence is called into question.

* However, tension remains to some extent as 2 generations confirm the differences as suggested by the Inspector - the moral divide is very great indeed.

* The final denouement, the phone call anouncing that a police Inspector is on his way to ask some questions about a girl who just died in the infirmary is as shocking as it is surprising & ensures that the audience will leave in a state of real shock.


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