The Inspector then reveals that Mrs. Birling in fact spoke with Eva only two weeks ago, a fact that causes a great deal of alarm in Sheila . Mr. Birling thinks what to do. In disbelief of what the Inspector has just said he asks his wife whether it is true. Mrs. Birling admits it without any emotion as she can see she has done nothing wrong. The Inspector asks Mrs. Birling whether it was down to her, as she was the most prominent member of the committee that Eva was refused help. In Mrs. Birlings defence to this accusation says ‘possibly’. Mrs.
Birling manner has changed rather rapidly from being proud of what she has done to being worried at what she as done as she feels the Inspector may impose some penalty. The Inspector asks her firmly ‘was it not your influence? ‘. Mrs. Birling then admits that it was her who influenced the committees decision. This makes it obvious that Mrs. Birling cannot stand up to the Inspector as she gives in admitting what she had done to Eva. Mrs. Birling tries not to tell the Inspector why Eva wanted help but stops him from gaining any more information and tells her that she has ‘no hope of not discussing it’.
Mrs. Birling tells the Inspector she feels she has just outwitted the Inspector that he has no hope in discussing the matter any further as he knows she has done nothing wrong. The Inspector says ‘I think you did something terribly wrong… ‘. This makes the atmosphere a lot tenser in the room as the inspector is actually getting angry with people. The Inspector tells Mrs. Birling that Eva was pregnant in the hope that this will shock her enough for her to see that she was responsible for Eva’s death. Mr. Birling asks the Inspector if he was suggesting it was Gerald Croft.
The Inspector informs them that it was nothing to do with Gerald Croft. I think that this is when the author allows people who read the book to start thinking through the characters in the play that could of got Eva pregnant. Mr. Birling I think becomes very worried and starts to think of a good response. He then tell his wife angrily that ‘when this comes out at the inquest, it isn’t going to do us much good. ‘. This response is typical of Mr. Birling, putting himself first and not bothering to think about what has happened to Eva. Mrs.
Birling tries to wriggle out of responsibility by blaming Eva’s death on her husband and daughter. Which creates even more tension as she is lying repetitively now. The Inspector tells the Birlings that Eva’s position is on a slab with a burnt out inside. Mr. Birling feels the Inspector has gone over the top and tries to stop him from carrying on his investigation. Mr. Birling tries to protest and the Inspector turns on him. The Inspector asks Mrs Birling ‘You’re not even sorry now… ‘. This would make the audience feel extremely angry for how heartless Mrs. Birling is. Mrs.
Birling suggests the father of her child’s fault that she and her own fault that she committed suicide. She never once suggests that it could of been her fault or any of the Birlings which shows just how arrogant she is. Mrs. Birling suggests that the culprit who she believes to be is the father is responsible and should be dealt with severely. Sheila suddenly works out why the Inspector is asking her Mother what to do with the father as she realizes that Eric is the Father and that this unknown fact will later embarrass her mother even more when her mother has blamed the suicide totally on him.
The Inspector tells Mrs. Birling he’s waiting to do his duty and Mrs Birling I would think would go into shock. The whole feeling terrifies Mr. Birling before he himself hoping that it’s not all true and then asks the Inspector if Eric is the father of Eva’s child. He then says ‘… you’re not trying to tell us – that my boy – is mixed up in this? ‘. He says he words ‘my boy’ giving the impression that he cannot except that his darling little son Eric could do such a disgraceful thing as impregnate a low social class woman and fund her by stealing from him.
This shows how ironic the Birlings are: they don’t believe Eric has an alcohol problem, Alderman Meggarty harasses girls, Brumley has prostitutes and that there son could steel from them and get Eva pregnant. Eric enters into the room and then the tension mounts to a peak if whether the Birlings will go to jail and what Eric will say to what the Inspector has told his family he has done.