” Little does he know that his words will soon come back to haunt him, and his hypocrisy will be made clear. Shelia is then questioned about her part in Eva’s death and at once accepts that she was to blame. Unlike Mr Birling, the audience warm to her as she is honest. As the Inspector mentions another name that the dead girl used, Daisy Renton, tension on the stage increases as Gerald reacts very suspiciously to it. This gives the audience a clear sign that Gerald also knew the girl (and could be an answer to why he was away last summer.)
It also shows the audience who is next to be questioned, keeping the tension for the audience. When the audience find out that Gerald was having an affair with Daisy Renton during the summer, it gives the audience the idea that unanswered questions from the beginning of the play will be answered, as the audience now know where Gerald was the summer before. The audience also have questions to whether Shelia and Gerald will still get married or not- a further demonstration of theatricality. The Inspector quotes “we’ll have to share our guilt” showing the audience that everyone is involved for sure.
Now the audience will wait for either Mrs Birling or Eric to be questioned as they are now expecting everyone to be involved. Next Mrs Birling comes under scrutiny but attempts to lie to the Inspector, even though Shelia tries to warn her. Her cry “Stop it, please, mother” will certainly increase audience sympathy. As the story unravels it shows that, as everyone else has done, Mrs Birling also used her position to discriminate against Eva/Daisy. Mrs Birling blames the father of Eva/Daisy’s unborn baby and believes that it is his responsibility.
It is made clear that Gerald isn’t the father, so the audience immediately want to know who the father is. As Eric is the only person left to question the audience will get the idea that the father must be Eric. From Eric’s behaviour earlier in the play, when he lets slip he knows how a woman wants to be made comfortable, it shows that he was talking about Eva/Daisy all along. This dramatic irony is wholly lost on his parents. This truth shows that Mrs Birling was blaming her own son all along for Eva/Daisy’s death when she should have been protecting him and looking after him.
The audience want to forgive Eric as he takes responsibility for his actions as Shelia does. In addition his parents don’t care about him but only care about what people might think of them if they find out about Eva’s death. When the Inspector leaves, the senior members of the family are shaken up by the experience and start questioning whether it was a hoax or not. When the audience find out there was no suicide it leaves the audience with questions to who the Inspector was, but as the twist of the play proceeds the audience are left with questions to how the Inspector knew about the suicide before it happened.
As the play concludes with an unexplained ending it leaves the audience to think of their own ending to who the Inspector was, leaving the audience with an enjoyable theatrical experience, yet able to reflect on Priestley’s message. The audience want to know who is to blame for Eva’s death, and as the Inspector knows everything and investigates one line of enquiry at a time, the audience’s interest is kept throughout. The audience are kept intrigued as they need to know who is responsible. Priestly also uses climaxes at the end of each act to keep the audience in suspense.
The audience want to know who the Inspector is; this is a mystery for the audience as they never do find out who he is. Priestley’s intention, however, was for him to bring a social message across to the audience. He brings across the social message by showing how he drives public people to confession with the dark secrets they conceal. Mrs Birling believes that the working class are a different species altogether and social status is everything. Gerald, Shelia, Eric and Arthur all used their positions to defeat Eva/Daisy in some way, which shows it was their class in society that also led to her death.
The Inspector tells the Birlings that “We are members of one body” and so teaches the audience how it is important to look after others otherwise the outcomes may not be good. The Inspector showed that selfishness, greed, envy and pride all lead to a poor girl’s death. The message is clear to the audience as after the Inspector leaves, the children change but the parents don’t, showing that people like Mr and Mrs Birling may never accept responsibility for their actions.
However, the Inspector cryptically states, “We often do on the young ones. They’re more impressionable. ” When speaking of the influences that can affect the younger members of the family. Priestley intends his play to make an impression on his audience. Lisa-Marie Bantleman Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section.