The theme is about the characters and how they respond to the death of Eva Smith in “An Inspector Calls”. Priestly puts across the fact that their social changes between Upper and Lower class were different; this shows the moral of the Upper-class.
Mr Birling is a very calm man and when he knows he is right and is not in the wrong he stands out and triumphant over the rest of his family.
“(Triumphantly) there you are!”
The Stage directions “(Triumphantly)” suggests the greatness over his family, and he has control over his family. Mr Birling is the one who makes the decisions, and no-one else can make a decision without addressing him first. It is like passing a law in parliament, the law is made by parliament and then the law has to be signed off by the queen.
Mr Birling does not like how the inspector has come and interrupted the Engagement of his daughter and his future son-in-law.
“Yes Inspector but why here?”
The phrase “Yes Inspector” suggests that in this quote Mr Birling is curious why an inspector has travelled to his house so late into the night, meeting him and his family, but the phrase “but why here?” suggests that Mr Birling has no idea in why the Inspector is coming to his house where the whole family is at the same time. This shows the audience how confused Mr Birling is in the play at the start, and how Mr Birling did not think of the girl that he fired a couple of years before the inspector arrived, which means he has no feeling for the people who work for him.
During the duration of time whilst the Inspector is asking numerous questions to her and her family, this makes Mrs Birling agitated.
“(Very sharply) Sheila!” pg.32
“(Protesting) Arthur!” pg.65
These words or names suggest that Mrs Birling is shouting at her family, due to the upset that has been created, due to her knowing she is in the wrong, before she shouts at a member of her family she always seems to be in an a argument, which is what causes her to be agitated and distressed. She is shouting at family members, because of how agitated she is, and the number of questions that is being asked by the inspector, about a death that Mrs Birling could’ve caused.
Even though Mrs Birling is doing something wrong, and isn’t admitting she still gets her way, most of the time.
“I’ve done nothing wrong and you know it!”
The phrase “I’ve done nothing wrong” suggests that Mrs Birling is very stubborn, because she knows she put Eva Smith into this position by rejecting Eva Smith. This is because Eva went to Mrs Birling’s woman’s association, because she used Mrs Birling’s surname, which she did not like, Mrs Birling turned down Eva even though she was pleading for help, and pregnant, this is an example which shows her anger towards her son, no matter what position the Eva was or had got herself in.
When Gerald sees a person that is not of too much importance in his life or doesn’t really seem to care, what happens to this certain person or object this is the case of Eva Smith.
“I see. Well, I never saw her again, and that’s all I can tell you!”
The phrase “I never saw her again” suggests that he doesn’t care about her and the time he spent with her, which suggests how important Eva is to Gerald, it also shows how uncaring he is towards other people except for his family and fiancé.
Sheila is the type of person, who can’t tell the difference from right or wrong and feels sorry for the actions she has taken upon Eva Smith; this is due to the fact that she was jealous of Eva’s beauty and talents. This is why Sheila is frightened of what will happen next, because Sheila got Eva fired.
“Eric-don’t-don’t.” pg. 55
The word “don’t” suggests the anger she has created over the period of time the Inspector has been around for, asking these questions has made her feel angry about the actions she has taken. This…