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An Inspector Calls Summary

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An Inspector Calls Summary

Act 1

When the play opens, the Birling family are celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald Croft. The mood is relaxed, friendly and happy. Arthur Birling hopes that the marriage will help in his business and he told Gerald that he might be in line for a war. Inspector Goole arrives immediately after this and announces that he is investigating the suicide of a girl named Eva Smith, who killed herself by swallowing disinfectant, and she had left a letter and a diary. The inspector shows Birling a photograph and he then recognises her as the girl he dismissed after a dispute over wages. Sheila was next to be questioned. She admitted to have fired Eva from her job at Milwards because she thought Eva was laughing at her when she tried on a dress. As a result of this, Eva Smith or Daisy Renton, died. Sheila feels very guilty about her behaviour and felt sorry towards Eva Smith. When Gerald heard the name Daisy Renton he reacts so stunned that his own involvement with the girl was obvious. At the end of Act 1 he admits to Sheila that he was having an affair with Daisy Renton over spring and summer.

Act 2

Gerald knows that the inspector's questions will expose his involvement with Daisy Renton. He wanted Sheila to leave but she insisted on staying. Mrs Birling enters and meets the inspector for the first time. Sheila realises that her mother's arrogant and uncaring attitude will eventually be turned against her and tries to stop her. The inspector questions Gerald who admits that he know Daisy Renton. He met her at the Palace Variety Theatre in Brumley. Gerald explains that Alderman Meggarty was harrassing Daisy and he helped her. He set her up as his mistress until the affair came to an end. Sheila then gives Gerald back her engagement ring. After some prompting Mrs Birling admist that the girl had approached The Brumley Women's organisation which she is involved in. Eva, who was pregnant, had unfortunately called herself Mrs Birling when she first met the committee which immediately prejudiced Mrs Birling against her. Mrs Birling persuaded the committee not to help her and told her to go and look for the father of her child.

Act 3

Eric returns to the dining room looking pale and distressed. When he entered the room, everyone knew that he was the father of Eva's child. Eric explains that he met Eva Smith during the previous November in the Palace bar, similar to Gerald Croft. He said that he had too much to drink and he took her back to her lodgings and insisted on going in with her, and forced her to make love with her. He met her again a fortnight later and a relationship started. Eva told Eric that she was expecting her child. She told him that she did not want to marry him as she knew that he did not love her.



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