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An Inspector Calls (Mariaeng)
Key quotes from Inspector Calls
Terms in this set (66)
'Goole. G- double O-L-E'
Sounds like 'ghoul' or ghost - is the Inspector a spectre? He seems to know everything.
'We'll have to share our guilt'
Law - Morality - Guilt - Responsibility
Inspector tells everyone they are guilty in some way - even if it's just not thinking or caring about Eva / Daisy.
'Public men have responsibilities as well as privileges'
Inspector tells Mr Birling that he can't be selfish. He tells him that he has to take care of people, not just himself and his family.
'I haven't much time'
Does the Inspector control time? Has he come back from the future?
'Fire and blood and anguish'
Revolution - Fairness - Responsibility
A warning about World War 1 and 2. The audience in 1946 know that wars have already happened.
He is also warning everyone that poor people will suffer more and more unless we treat everyone fairly.
'There are millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives.'
Fairness - Responsibility
Eva may have died but she is just an example of all the people who have no rights, no power. There are more than one Eva Smith as it is a universal name.The Inspector tells us we must look after everyone, not just our family and friends.
'We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.'
The Inspector tells us we must look after everyone, not just our family and friends.
'I speak as a hard-headed businessman'
Money - Power - Materialistic (cares about things not people / passions)
Mr Birling believes his advice and opinion should be taken on everything because he owns a business. He lectures the young and does not change. He is very proud to be a capitalist (money maker) and wealthy.
The Titanic... unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable
Lack of awareness
Priestley shows the audience how wrong Mr Birling is. If he's wrong about The Titanic, he's wrong about everything else (like looking after only yourself, Socialism and taking care of poorer people).
Girls of that class...
Mr B shows that he thinks less of working class people, and that he is above them. He thinks "they" behave differently (and worse) than those of his class. The setting and the role of the maid Edna shows a class structured society.
I'd give thousands
Money - Regret - Responsibility
Mr Birling uses money to demonstrate how much he'd like things to be different. It shows he is money-centred. It shows he takes some responsibility, but only a bit and only for show. He wants social prestige and position.
A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own.
Mr B says we only have to look after our family and friends - but nobody else. This is exactly the opposite of what the Inspector says about looking after everyone.
If you don't come down hard on these people, they'll soon be asking for the earth.
Class - Money
Mr Birling talks about working class as "these people" like they're different to and less than him.
He also misses the point that these people have nothing and Eva was only asking for a little extra money.
a fair chance I might find my way into the next Honours List.
Class - Money - Power
Mr Birling is expecting to be made a knight or a sir. It shows that he is powerful. However, it also shows that he is worried about his status and knows he's 'below' Lord & Lady Croft.
The whole story's just a lot of moonshine.
Responsibility - Law
He is relieved when it appears that the Inspector is not real and the story was made up.
He thinks he can just carry on as before (unlike Sheila and Eric) as the "public scandal" was the thing he really cared about.
Money - Power - Class
Mr Birling is terrified there will be a scandal which drags his name through the mud. He cares more about what people think of him than he does a girl's death.
You talk as if we were responsible.
Near the start... Sheila doesn't see how the Birlings are to blame (but soon changes her mind).
These girls aren't cheap labour - they're people.
Class - Responsibility
Sheila starts to see that her father's way of looking at the world is wrong, and the Inspector is right.
So I'm really responsible?
Responsibility - Guilt
Sheila takes (some) responsibility for Eva's death.
~ Compare her reaction to her parents.
I felt rotten about it at the time and now I feel worse.
Responsibility - Guilt
Sheila talks about getting Eva sacked and her central role in the dismissal. She feels guilty and responsible.
I'll never, never do it again to anybody.
I'm desperately sorry.
Responsibility - Guilt
Sheila promises that she's mended her ways. She is the agent for strange and in some ways is Priestley's main character (apart from the Inspector, who speaks Priestley's thoughts)
You used the power you had... to punish the girl?
INSPECTOR (to SHEILA)
Power - Responsibility
The Inspector shows his anger at Sheila for getting Eva sacked and abusing her power.
You mustn't try to build up a wall between us and that girl. If you do, the Inspector will just break it down.
SHEILA (to Mrs Birling)
Responsibility - Class - Power
Sheila knows that the Inspector knows everything and won't allow the Birlings to not take responsibility for Eva's fate. She understands the Inspector more than anyone else.
You don't seem to have learnt anything
Sheila is shocked that the others just want to go back to how it was now they think the Inspector was a fake. Her character has significantly changed.
'Well-bred, young, man-about-town' (description)
He is confident and a good social match for the Birlings
'Absolutely first class'
Uses an upper class register and expression
'Except for all last summer, when you never came near me' (Sheila)
Suggests that things are not quite right between him and Sheila and leads to mistrust
'I believe you're right, sir'
Agrees with Mr Birling so shows he is of similar conservative opinions and is unlikely to change
'We're respectable citizens and not criminals'
Does not believe they have done anything wrong. They may not be criminals but are they 'respectable citizens'? They may look 'respectable' but to be a 'citizen' implies social responsibility
'Now listen, darling-'
Tries to dominate Sheila and patronize her.
'You can always kiss me'
Acts selfishly and 'instructs' Sheila
'I don't come into this suicide business'
His casual language shows his uncaring attitude to the girl's suicide.
'So - for God's sake - don't say anything to the inspector'
Wants to keep up appearances and not tell the Inspector anything, not realizing, unlike Sheila, that the Inspector knows everything.
'Women of the town-'
Uses a polite euphemism for 'prostitutes', whom he more than likely used.
'I didn't install her there so that I could make love to her' 'It wasn't disgusting'
Tries to make out that his cheating on Sheila was acceptable. He always makes excuses to exonerate his responsibility to others.
'I was sorry for her'
Is this genuine or is he trying to portray himself as behaving well?
'She didn't blame me at all'
Tries to make his actions seem better and attempts to take the blame off himself. If what he says is true Daisy/Eva is portrayed as a noble victim.
'We've no proof it was the same photograph and therefore no proof it was the same girl'
Is trying to make out that nothing has happened. Wants any excuse to absolve himself of responsibility.
'go and work somewhere else'
Sees the plight of workers and stands up to his father
Shows his different attitude to his father and Gerald
'I'd have let her stay'
The only one to voice opposition to Mr. Birling before the arrival of the Inspector
'as if I were a kid'
Shows his youthful naivety
'not the kind of father a chap could go to'
Cannot confide in his father.
'You've been spoilt'~ (Arthur Birling)
Recognizes that Eric has had a easy and sheltered life but takes no responsibility for his upbringing.
'You don't understand'
Shows his difference to his parents
'I did what I did'
Takes responsibility for his actions like Sheila
'we all helped to kill her'
He admits collective responsibility as well as personal responsibility.
'The one I knew is dead'
Shows his strong guilt for his actions and what they led to.
'about fifty, a rather cold woman, and her husband's social superior'
Shows she has married socially beneath her and has little real compassion
'Arthur, you're not supposed to say such things-'
Shows her social superiority and desire to maintain appearances.
'When you're married, you'll realise that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend nearly all their time and energy on their business'
Shows the nature of her marriage and the fact she accepts the status and expects her daughter to do the same.
'Really the things you girls pick up these days'
Shows the gap between her and her daughter
'(Mrs. Birling enters, briskly and self confidently)'
Shows how self-assured she is and that she is not afraid to speak her mind.
'Girls of that class-'
Looks down on people below her social class. A snob.
'You know of course that my husband was Lord Mayor only two years ago and that he's still a magistrate-'
Believes that social position can absolve them of social responsibility. Firm believer in social hierarchy.
'It isn't true' 'I don't believe it. I won't believe it'
Cannot accept change and challenges the truth.
'But I accept no blame for it at all'
Accepts no blame or responsibility for what has happened.
'You turned her away when she most needed help' (Inspector)
She showed no social responsibility and compassion when it was most needed. And she had the power to change things and the social role to do so.
'I'm absolutely ashamed of you'
Is ashamed of others but not of herself
'Really, from the way you children talk'
Cannot understand why the younger generation want to show any social responsibility.
Edna, the parlourmaid, is just clearing the table, (stage direction)
She's the maid!
Socially of the same class as Eva/Daisy and therefore represents the working class
'Please, Sir, an inspector's called.'
Calls Mr Birling 'Sir' as befits her social position and has a key role in announcing the arrival of the Inspector.
'(opening door, and announcing)
She has the key line in introducing the figure of change, the Inspector, and could be said to be heralding social change herself. In this photo (National Theatre production 2006) Edna is on the left and stays on stage showing her key role as a visual reminder of social class.
'Edna, a neatly dressed parlour maid in her late twenties...' (stage direction)
Her role would be to be subservient to the women of the house and this photo reminds us of Eva Smith in Milwards. Is this the ghostly photo no one sees?
LOTS OF EDNAS
I don't think even the Birlings could afford this many maids and the one in the middle looks really scary!!
'there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths... and Ednas...' (the last bit is made up so don't quote it)
A REAL EDWARDIAN EDNA
Enough said about Edna. Anyone would think she's a major character!
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