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Inspector Calls

  • Date Submitted: 04/25/2012 10:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 74.3 
  • Words: 1688
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Arthur Birling

A proud, pig-headed and stubborn man.
He is not truly upper-class, but he does aspire to be. He hopes to become a ‘Sir’
He runs a successful business, but not as successful or long-running as the Croft business (Gerald’s family)
He probably approves of Gerald, no matter what he does, because he wants to be associated with that family

What he is guilty of

He fired Eva Smith because she led a strike to try and get better pay. Birling saw this as being preposterous (cheeky), and got rid of her. Nowadays, unions and strike action are common. They are what gives the working classes power.


[About Eva Smith] – “She’d had a lot to say – far too much – so she had to go” p.173
Shows his lack of tolerance to working classes

[To Eric] “It’s about time you learned a few responsibilities. That’s something this public-school-and-varsity life you’ve had doesn’t seem to teach you.” P.175

Shows how out of touch he is about his own role in society. He has no right to criticise anyone!
“There’s every reason for what your mother and I did – it turned out unfortunately, that’s all” – near the end of the play, p.208

Sybil Birling

Like her husband she is arrogant and stubborn.
She feels ‘put-out’ that the inspector would even dare to question someone of her class.
She is short-tempered and bad-mannered. She does not think that her family can do any wrong.

What she is guilty of

She refused to help Eva Smith when she came to her charity in desperate need. At the time Eva Smith was pregnant with Eric’s baby, although Sybil did not know this. Eva had called herself ‘Eva Birling’, and Sybil was angered by the idea that a poor person would try to use their family name. Not only did Sybil refuse to help, but she vindictively made sure that nobody else in the organisation helped her either.


[To Sheila] “You’re looking tired, dear. I think you ought to go to bed and forget about this absurd business.”
Shows her lack of...


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