The Inspector particularly blames Mr Birling for her suicide and is always referring to her being sacked from his works. “Inspector: Because what happened to her then may have determined what happened to her afterwards and what happened to her afterwards may have driven her to suicide” “Inspector: …Yes, Why did you refuse “Inspector: Why should you do any protesting!? It was you who turned the girl out in the first place!”
I don’t believe the Inspector was exceedingly successful in finding who was responsible because in a certain way, all of the Birlings and Gerald were responsible. Although the older members of the family took it all as a joke when they find out the first inspector didn’t exist, the Inspector changed Eric and Sheila. Sheila was most different because of Eric’s affair with Daisy Renton. I think the Inspector has a different effect on each character. Mr Birling seems to find the Inspector intruding and rude. He doesn’t think he plays any part in the death of Eva Smith even though the Inspector is most insistent on questioning him.
Mrs Birling is the only member of the family who doesn’t buckle under the Inspector’s character. Even to the Inspector she is keen to remind him that she has a much higher social level than he does. She tries to intimidate the inspector by telling him as Mr Birling has that her husband was Lord Mayor two years ago and is still a magistrate. Mrs Birling becomes very agitated and speaks rationally, “Mrs Birling: I beg your pardon!” “Mrs Birling: I realise that you may have to conduct some sort of inquiry, but I must say that so far you seem to be conducting it in a rather peculiar and offensive manner. You know of course that my husband was Lord Mayor here only two years ago and that he’s still a magistrate.”
The Inspector reduces Sheila to tears and seems to make quite a dent in her otherwise hearty personality. “Mrs Birling: You seem to have made a great impression on this child inspector” “Shelia: Mother don’t! Please don’t, for you own sake as well as ours-you mustn’t.” Sheila Sheila appears quite disturbed by the girl’s death and this shows in her dialogue. This is especially apparent towards the end of the play, “Shelia: It frightens me the way you talk” Sheila and Eric both learned a great deal from the Inspector and are obviously shaken by him.
Eric has a strong connection with the girl and is therefore more upset when he learns of her death. Eva died after being turned away from Mrs Birling’s charity while she was trying to protect Eric. Eric blames his mother for her death, probably because the Inspector has driven him and all of the family to make wild accusations, “Eric: Then-you killed her! She came to you to protect me and you turned her away -yes, and you killed her, and the child she’d had too, my child! Your own grandchild!”
Eric appears to have been deeply moved by the Inspector and is not the same man after the evening as he was when the play begins. Like Sheila, he learns a great deal from this experience. Gerald is the character who suffered the most because of Eva Smith’s death. When they had a relationship they loved each other and the Inspector respects this. He comments: “Inspector: …that young man Croft, though at least he had affection for her and made her happy for a time.”
Gerald becomes very upset and leaves for a short time. He had the affair with Eva Smith when she was going under the name Daisy Renton. When the Inspector mentions this name he is shocked and stunned. He immediately gives away that he knew a girl by the name of Daisy Renton. The Inspector (who already knows of Gerald’s involvement) and Sheila notice this. Gerald is obviously upset by the Inspector and becomes quite distressed. The Inspector has a certain respect for Gerald because he took Eva in out of kindness and not lust, like Eric.
The main factors for a dramatic performance of “An Inspector Calls” should be the lighting and music. The lighting before the Inspectors unexpected arrival should be soft and warm. Colours such as pinks and reds should be used to create a “cosy” atmosphere. When the inspector arrives the lighting should be hard and bright. White light should always surround the Inspector giving an idea of superiority.
Any music before the Inspector enters the scene should be quiet and flowing. When he arrives it should be sharp and loud. The music must sound unfriendly and echo the Inspectors voice to give the idea that the Inspector is supernatural and strange. The actors should try to look as if they do not want to be close to him and linger together in pairs except Mr Birling who should look confident and full of himself.