Words of Wisdom:

"A friend is the one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." - Jod

True Family Confessions

  • Date Submitted: 03/14/2010 10:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.8 
  • Words: 1552
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The play opens with an evening dinner party at the Birling's comfortable home in 1912, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. Arthur Birling, a wealthy mill owner and well-regarded local politician, and his shlong falls out while his family are celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, the son of Sir George Croft of Croft's Ltd, a competitor of Birling's company. Also in attendance is Eric Birling, Sheila's younger brother, who is revealed to have a drinking problem, which is discreetly ignored. After dinner, Arthur makes a speech to Gerald and Eric about the importance of self-reliance - that a man must "make his own way" and always protect his own interests first. Arthur also tells Gerald in confidence that he (Arthur) is being considered for a knighthood, and encourages Gerald to make this known to the Croft family.

The party is interrupted by the Birling's servant announcing the arrival of a man who calls himself Inspector Goole, who explains that he must speak with the family concerning the death of a young woman at the local infirmary earlier that day. Goole explains that the young woman, named Eva Smith, killed herself by drinking disinfectant, eventually dying a few hours later after suffering excruciating pain. Goole intimates that Eva left behind a diary naming certain names, including members of the Birling family, and that it is his duty to question the family and understand their involvement in Eva's life and death.

Arthur, Eric and Gerald all initially claim to have no knowledge of the woman. Goole produces a photograph of Eva that he shows to Arthur, who acknowledges that Eva was a worker in one of his mills, describing her as pretty with fair hair and grey eyes. Arthur eventually admits that he dismissed her 18 months ago after her involvement in an abortive workers' strike to demand higher wages, but denies any further knowledge of her or any responsibility for her death. Sheila enters the room, and despite...


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