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An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls The curtain rises with the family standing looking dumfoundedly at Mr Birling. They are all beginning to get panicky. Mr Birling: "If a real inspector is coming then we need to be able to get our stories straight, we don't want to tell this inspector the amount that we told the last one." Everyone looks at Eric and Sheila. Mrs Birling: "I really think that if any of us let on then we will all be in really deep trouble." Gerald: "Hold on! How do we know that it is the same girl that has died? The other inspector could really have been bluffing and made up the whole lot. It could be a girl that nobody here has ever heard of." Mr Birling: "He's right you know. But still, we had better get good alibis just in case it is the same girl." Eric: "But how did he know that this was going to happen? It can't just be a coincidence." Eric walks over to the drinks and pours himself a small whisky. Nobody seems to notice except Sheila, who is horrified. "I mean, he must have known that this was going to happen. I can't just accept that it was a coincidence." Mr Birling: "Anyway, that doesn't matter now. I doubt that he will pass on the information that he got out of us to anybody else. ...read more.


Gerald: "And, what if he does know?" Mr Birling: "Then we'll have to think quickly, won't we?" There is silence for a couple of minutes. They are all waiting for a knock at the door. Mrs Birling: "When the Inspector arrives this time, I'm going to ask him for some proof of identity. I don't want to be caught off my guard like I was last time." Mr Birling: "Yes, we must. As I said before, if any of this gets out, we shall all be ruined. You know, I think I shall use my influence and get us a room on the Titanic, which sails in July. We need to get away from all this and be able to mix with people of quality rather than the people round here. I am afraid that some of their habits may have rubbed off on some of us." He looks pointedly at Gerald. Mrs Birling: "I'd like that." Gerald: "Would I be able to come as well? I need to spend some time alone with Sheila." Mr Birling: "Then it's settled. We'll all sail on the Titanic. We can spend a few weeks in America and come back when all of this has blown over. It will be as if nothing..." He is interrupted by a knock at the door. All three exchange worried glances and get up to go to the door. ...read more.


His voice suddenly becomes cold and heartless and he stares straight at the inspector. His speech has slowed down and he seems to be spelling the words out to himself in his mind. Behind him, both Gerald and Mrs Birling are too shocked to speak. Gerald is worried that this will not only ruin both his father and Mr Birlings' businesses but it will mean that he will not be able to marry Sheila. Mrs Birling stares straight ahead when she hears that her children have betrayed her. She doesn't show any emotion and the only signs that show that she is worried are that she seems to seize up when she hears the Inspectors name and the name of the girl that died. From the start of the scene until when the Inspector calls, the action takes place in the dining room. The places where the characters are in this room are sketched below. Eric is standing near the drinks because he wants to keep having a drink but seems to be trying to stop himself. Eric and Sheila are sitting next to each other because Gerald is trying to make up with Sheila even though Sheila doesn't want to. Mr Birling is sitting at the head of the table because he still wants to show himself as the head of the household. Mrs Birling is sitting next to him because she wants to be with her husband. There is a door from this room leading into the hall. This is sketched below with the characters marked in their positions. ...read more.

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