An Ispector calls


In the suburban house of the prosperous manufacteur, Arthur Birling, the family is celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling, the daughter and Gerald Craft, the son of a social superior family.

But Gerald's parents are absent because they don't want to spend an evening with lower class people. Sheila is a little suspecious because Gerald has spent much time with his work. Mr. Birling tells Gerald that he is finding his way into the next Honours List. Suddenly they get interrupted by the ring of the bell and an inspector enters.

He tells them about a poor young woman having committed suicide that night. The inspector makes all members of the family responsible for the suicide. Each person is another way: The dead woman, Eva Smith, had been working in Mr. Birling's factory. But two years ago, after a strike of the workers wanting higher wages, Mr. Birling discharged the girl because she was one of the ringleaders. After Eva Smith did not have any work for two months, she was taken on at a good shop. But soon she also had to leave.

Sheila recognizes a photograph of Eva Smith and now she tells her story: it was her who wanted the poor girl to go because she was jealous of her. And now Sheila feels responsible for the suicide. After Eva Smith had left the shop she changed her name to Daisy Renton and so she meets Gerald.

2nd Act

When it is Gerald's turn to be asked, he does not want Sheila to be present. But the girl who doesn't want to accept all the responsibility alone, stays there. Gerald met Daisy Renton a year before Brunly (that time, when he was so busy that he hardly could see Sheila).Gerald gave her something to eat and some money. Soon he didn't really make her his mistress, but he didn't dislike her neither (He was her fairy-prince).Gerald gave her a flat of his friend's who was not present at that time. Gerald made an end to this affair when he had to go away on business and then he never heard anything about her.-After Sheila has heard this story, she breaks up her engagement with Gerald.- Then, Mrs. Birling, too, recognizes Eva Smith on the photo. Mrs. Birling is a prominent member of an organization to which women in distress can appeal for help. One of these women was Eva Smith who used the name Mrs. Birling and that was the reason why Mrs. Birling, the real Mrs. Birling, didn't help her. Eva Smith was going to have a child. Mrs. Birling told her that it was her business to make him the father of the child. But Eva didn't want to marry this man who was a drunken idler and she also did not take any money from him because she knew it was stolen. At last it turns out that Eric was the father.


Now Eric tells his story: He met Eva Smith in the Palace bar and when he was a little squiffy, he compelled her to take him into her lodging. After this evening he sometimes met her and when she told him about the baby, Eric wanted to give her money which he had stolen from his father's office but she didn't want to receive it. The inspector shows the family that each of them is responsible for the suicide but that there are yet many other girls like Eva Smith. After the inspector has left the house, Mr. Birling makes Gerald responsible that he cannot get a knighthood now. Also Mrs. Birling looks at all these things from the social point of view. But suddenly the whole family does not believe that this inspector has been a real police inspector because his manners have been very extraordinary and later Mr. Birling rings up the Chief Constable and he says that there is no Inspector Goole at the office.

Mr. and Mrs. Birling seem to have forgotten all these things, but Eric and Sheila want to know if this girl is dead or not. Soon it turns out that the inspector has shown each of them another photo of a girl and that Daisy Renton and Eva Smith have been two different girls. The whole family was shocked so much that the whole time the inspector was able to bluff them. After a ring to the Infirmary they are sure that no girl has committed suicide. And so Mr. and Mrs. Birling want to forget what has happened. But suddenly the telephone rings. The police tells them that a girl just has committed suicide and that an inspector is coming to ask some questions.

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