An Inspector Calls J.B. PRIESTLEY (Edition Heinemann)

Aller en bas

An Inspector Calls J.B. PRIESTLEY (Edition Heinemann)

Message par Admin le Sam 19 Juin 2010 - 7:52


P. 2-3

The family Birling and Gerald are having dinner. They are celebrating an engagement (between Sheila and Gerald). They are done eating, they are having port and talking about the port. Gerald says he liked the dinner. In the middle of page two, it is the beginning of the fight between Sheila and Gerald, which is very important for the rest of the story. In fact, last summer Gerald was not with Sheila, Gerald was busy at the works.

P. 4-5

Birling makes a speech and Eric is drunk, exited, impolite and rude. Birling talks about business in his speech instead of talking about the engagement. For him, the engagement is a great thing because there is no more rivalry between Crofts and Birling.
Now they are working together and Birling thinks that the costs will diminish and the prices will rise (augmenter).
Gerald agrees with Birling’s ideas.
Sybil doesn’t like Arthur’s speech.
Gerald gives Sheila a ring and she is very happy.

P. 6-10

Mr Birling makes another speech but it is again about business. Eric takes part in the speech (in his dad’s speech).
Birling thinks that nobody wants to make war, because there is too much at stake. After that Birling gives his views on technology and industry. (Titanic, which will sink during first trip) Ironic because the Titanic will sink but Birling is really enthusiastic about the boat.
Birling has hopes for the future (peace, prosperity, progress).
At the end of page 7, Eric, Sheila and Mrs Birling go out ; Arthur and Gerald are alone in the room.
Both of them smoke and talk about social difference between the Birling and the Croft, Arthur explains that he might get a knighthood. Eric enters, and gets another glass of port.
The inspector arrives, his name is Goole and he is a police inspector. He is a man in his fifties.
He explains why he is here; he talks about a young woman who died in the infirmary because she swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant.

P. 11

It’s a suicide, and she died in pain. Her name is Eva Smith.

P. 12-15

The inspector found her diary and a letter. He begins to ask questions to Arthur; we learned that Eva was an employee of Mr Birling two years ago. The inspector shows a photograph to Arthur (and not to the other ones) and Birling explains that she was working for him and that he fired her because she was the leader of a strike to get more money. He explains this decision: he wanted to keep low labour costs.

P. 16

Eric questions Birling about his decision because he doesn’t understand why her fired her. He tries to sell his products at the highest price, and she was a good worker. Birling doesn’t like his son’s attitude, he is angry. Birling doesn’t want to tell more to the Inspector and he asks about the girl’s life after the events. Sheila enter the room.

P. 17

Sheila learns about Eva Smith. Birling is still angry because the inspector told Sheila to stay here. Sheila is rather distressed.


When Eva Smith died, she was 24. Gerald defends Arthur and says that what happened at Birling’s works is not important, what happened after is more interesting. The inspector wants to question another person. Birling becomes kind; he changes his attitude (he was angry because it was all about himself before). Birling tries to and the inspector visit.


Eva’s parents are dead. Two months after Birling dismissed her, she has no job, no place to live and she is half-starved.
The inspector explains that thanks to that situation (which is experienced by a lot of young women, it would be impossible to find such cheap labour).

P. 20-26

Eva found new job in a shop (Milwards). Because of the flu, the shop needs new employees and they hire Eva. She feels good and she likes working there.
The inspector shows the photograph to Sheila; she is surprised and she recognizes Eva Smith. At the end of January the year before, Sheila had her fired because she was jealous of Eva Smith and because she thought Eva Smith was mocking her. Birling is angry because the celebration was nice but the inspector made a nasty mess. Eric doesn’t feel good, he drinks a lot and he says has got a headache and that he wants to leave, but the inspector refuses.
Sheila doesn’t feel good either.
Eva Smith changed her name to Daisy Renton when the inspector says the name Daisy Renton, Gerald reacts and serves himself a drink. Sheila understands that Gerald had relationship with Daisy Renton and gets an explanation as to why he wasn’t available for her last summer. (And spring). When Sheila and Gerald are alone, Gerald admits the affair but he is persuaded that it’s possible to keep the story from inspector. Sheila brings Gerald back to reality.


P. 27

They (G. and S.) are talking and the inspector enters. Gerald thinks that Sheila is getting hysterical; she wants to stay in the room but the Inspector hasn’t got anymore questions to ask her. And Gerald doesn’t want Sheila to stay here because she is disturbing him.

P. 28

Gerald and Sheila fight because Sheila wants to stay and Gerald thinks it’s because she wants him to go through (=subir) the same thing.

P. 29

Sheila feels sorry but she doesn’t want to believe it is her fault if the girl killed herself. For some unknown reason, Sybil enters the conversation as if it was just a simple discussion; she thinks it’s a mistake and that it is not her fault or the other’s fault.

P. 30

Sybil considers Sheila as a child (Mr Birling too) and she wants her to go to bed. Sybil doesn’t want Sheila to contradict her and Sheila doesn’t want her mother to be so confident and to deny knowing Eva Smith.

P. 31

Sheila and Gerlad remind Sybil politely to talk less but she doesn’t stop.
Sybil tells the inspector that her husband is with her son who is drunk.

P. 32

And the inspector asks if he is used to drinking Mrs Birling denies but Sheila admits that he has been steadily drinking too much for two years.
Mrs Birling tries to intimidate the inspector and to control the situation.
Mrs Birling says she doesn’t know the girl and Mr Birling comes back.

P. 33

The inspector begins to question Gerald. He tries to deny but the inspector counteracts.

P. 34

Gerald relates his memories about meeting Daisy Renton; he met her at the palace in Brumley. Sheila wants to discover what happened exactly last spring and summer. Mrs Birling doesn’t want Sheila to hear the story.

P. 35

Gerald says that he saw Old Joe Meggarty harass Daisy Renton, so he intervened.

P. 36-37

They went to the Country Hotel; she talks about herself, he feels sorry and offers her a place to live (temporarily) and he visits her there. He also gives her some money; and Daisy Renton becomes his mistress.
The inspector is sharp and rude with Birling.

P. 38

Sheila asks Gerald if he was in love with Daisy Renton; he says it is difficult to know and that he wasn’t in love with her as much as she was with him.
Sheila becomes sharp with Gerald; she is the one who asks the questions!

P. 39

Gerald answers the questions about the break-up. He explains that he gave money to Daisy Renton as a parting gift. The inspector asks Gerald if he knew what Daisy Renton wanted to do after the end of the affair. He doesn’t know the inspector tells him that she went to some seaside place, and that he found the information in her diary. Gerald wants to go out for a while.

P. 40

Gerald leaves the house and Sheila returns the engagement ring. Sheila tells Gerald that she has more respect for him than ever before and that he has finally been honest about the months where he wasn’t there for her last spring and summer and that she was her fault if Eva Smith and him met in the first place.

P. 41

Sybil is next. The inspector shows her the photograph and asks her if she recognizes Eva Smith. Sybil denies. Both Arthur and Sybil get angry at the inspector because they think that the Inspector is offensive.
Sheila makes a summary of the situation and says that her mother is lying (she could tell that she recognized the girl on the picture.)

P. 42

The Inspector explains why Mrs Birling should know Eva Smith. Sybil is a prominent (=important) member of the (Brumley Women’s) Charity Organisation. Birling enters and looks agitated; Eric went out. Birling explains that Eric was in a queer (=strange) mood.

P. 43

But the inspector needs Eric! Mrs Birling saw and spoke to Eva Smith two weeks ago.
Eva Smith found the organisation for help and she called herself Mrs Birling.
Sybil doesn’t like Eva Smith’s attitude, she was offended and admits being prejudiced against her case.

P. 44

Sybil refused to help her and imposed decision to other members.

P. 45

Eva Smith asked the Charity for help because she was going to have a child. She was desperate, she didn’t want money, and she wanted some advice. Sybil answered by telling her to find the father and that it was his responsibility. Birling is worried about his reputation.

P. 46

The Inspector is getting exasperated by Birling and his wife. Eva’s boyfriend is a young man but he is silly, wild and he drinks too much. He gave her money but Eva Smith didn’t want to take any more from him.

P. 47

She refused the money because the father had stolen it when he was drunk. In fact, she wanted to keep the boy out of trouble.
Sybil blames (=mettre la faute sur) Eva Smith and the father of the child.

P. 48-49

Sybil says it it the father’s fault if Eva Smith killed herself. Mrs Birling says that Sheila is a hysterical child. The inspector is actually waiting for Eric. Eric arrives, looking pale and distressed. (upset, agited, tormented, worried)



Eric arrives and everyone knows about what happened between Eric and Eva Smith.

P. 51

The inspector asks family to keep their lectures and arguments for later. So he can do his job. Eric drinks whisky and the inspector starts to interrogate Eric. Eric explains his story with Eva Smith and describes the situation of their meeting. (Eric was drunk and Eva Smith was too, he forced her to let him in)

P. 52

We learn that Eric and Eva Smith met again. Birling doesn’t want Sybil to listen to Eric’s interrogation. They met two weeks after the night at the Palace, they talked about each other and then they made love. Eric tells that he wasn’t in love with Eva Smith, which makes Birling mad Eric justifies his actions by saying he is old enough to be married.

P. 53

They met again; Eva Smith told him she was pregnant. Eric was worried, he wanted to marry her but she didn’t want it because he was not in love with. So he offered to give her enough money to live but she refused to take more than fifty pounds. Birling asks how Eric god so much money; he explains that he stole it from the office. Sybil comes back because she couldn’t hear to stay in the other room.

P. 54

Eric explains how he stole the money; a fight starts between Arthur and Eric because Arthur thinks Eric should have asked him money. Eric answers that he is not the kind of person who would help his son in this situation. The inspector asks Eric if the knew the money was stolen, he answers yes and that it’s the reason why she didn’t want to take it.


Sheila explains the story between Sybil and Eva Smith, Eric thinks that it’s his mother who “killed” Eva Smith and the baby. Eric gets mad at Sybil, she tries to defend herself by saying she didn’t know. The inspector and Arthur intervene, the inspector reminds the family that Eva Smith died because of each of their own actions and not because of a single person.

The inspector repeats the role each of the members of the family has played in Eva Smith’s death. The inspector explains that there are millions of Eva Smith in the world and that everyone interacts with other persons and that we all are responsible of others in some way. He warns (=met en garde) them against what will happen if the lesson given by Eva Smith’s story is not learned (=war!). The inspector leaves.


The father thinks about his reputation, that it is not good for the image. He thinks that there will be a public scandal. He also advises Eric that he won’t be paid until the money that he stole is repaid.
The children are not worried by the same things as the parents; Eric and Sheila worry about their guilt and the story; Sybil and Arthur worry about their reputation.


Sheila tells her father that he doesn’t seem to have learn anything; Birling thinks he has learnt a lot and that his evening was rained (his opinion of his family was really diff. before the inspector arrived!!!).
Eric reminds his father of his lecture before dinner about social respons.
Sheila asks if the inspector was really an inspector, all of the others share their doubts.

P. 59

Sheila thinks that the real question is not about knowing if the inspector was real or not, it’s about the truth of everyone’s actions! Sheila has doubts about the inspector; Mrs Birling thinks that he was too rude to be a real police inspector. Birling gets paranoiac.

P. 60

Birling tells Eric that he’s the one who risks the most. He blames his family for talking too much (he underestimates the inspector’s knowledge).
Birling says that the inspector was a socialist and that he is disappointed by his family.

P. 61

Gerald comes back, and announces he has a special reason to come back.


Gerald says that the inspector isn’t a real officer; that he met a sergeant and asked him about it. Birling calls the Colonel (Roberts) and asks him about the inspector. The Police say they have no inspector Goole.


Birling thinks that since the inspector was fake, They can escape the problems. He thinks that someone sent the man to cause him trouble.


The parents are trying to figure out what will happen next while Sheila and Eric are still troubled by the story.


Gerald introduces the possibility that it might not be the same girl. He reexplains the whole story to show the other that they have never looked at the same photograph nor (=ni) seen a proof of any kind. Birling is really happy about that scenario. Sheila and Eric try to explain that it doesn’t change what happened.
Gerald calls the Infirmary to know if a girl died here today. The hospital answers that there was no girl that died and that they haven’t seen a suicide in months.
The phone rings. A girl died on the way to the hospital, after swallowing some disinfectant. A police inspector is on his way to the Birling’s to ask questions.

- Maybe the inspector helped the girl to commit suicide?
- Maybe it was a “warning” from Gord ?
- Maybe…

"Qui donne ne doit jamais s'en souvenir. Qui reçoit ne doit jamais oublier."


Nombre de messages : 358
Réputation : 34
Date d'inscription : 14/01/2009

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Revenir en haut

- Sujets similaires

Permission de ce forum:
Vous ne pouvez pas répondre aux sujets dans ce forum