Inspector Calls: Act One Summary

Essay by dazzyyy2High School, 10th gradeA+, September 2014

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An Inspector Calls Summaries

Act One

The novel starts with the description of dining room, which is, describe to have the furniture and styles of the period. This shows that the Birlings had recently come into money. In Act 1, J. B. Priestly introduces each of the characters with their unique personalities to the audience. We get a feel of the characteristics of the cast. The scene starts with the characters celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald. From the start, we can tell that this is an informal dinner. The ladies leave the dining room due to customs leaving the men to be lectured by Mr. Birling with his "knowledge" and opinions of the current economy. No sooner, the inspector arrives and tells them about the horrifying suicide of Eva Smith. The family is surprised why this has anything to do with them, but the inspector starts interrogating each of them.

Firstly, the inspector only shows Mr Birling the photo of the girl. Mr Birling recognises her as a worker at his factory that was one of the strike leaders causing her to be sacked. After Sheila walks in on their conversation, she is also shown the photo (only her) and recognises Eva as a worker at Milwards who she had fired for no actual purpose. Then the inspector mentions that Eva Smith had changed her name to Daisy Renton and Gerald reacts to this comment. Obviously, this seems like suspicious behaviour so when everybody leaves the room, Sheila and Gerald has a mini fight about his relationship to Daisy Renton: the inspector overhears.


Act Two

Gerald, at first patronises Sheila to go to bed, but when she refuses, Gerald finally tells the inspector his relationship with Daisy Renton. Then Mrs Birling enters and was being socially gracious.