‘An Inspector Calls’ is a play by J. B Priestley, which was set in 1912, and written in 1934. This play is about the Birling family, who are wealthy and upper class people. The Birlings are involved in a mystery, and the Inspector questions each of them. The mystery is about a girl called Eva Smith in her twenties, she committed suicide by drinking disinfectant. They are all involved in this mystery and the Inspector wants to find out why Eva committed suicide. In Act One, the family speak and do things like a normal upper class family.
They are very calm together as a family and they and they can talk about many things. They treat each other well, but if someone says or does anything wrong, they have a little quarrel about it, ‘You’re squiffy. ‘ ‘I’m not. ‘ ‘What an expression, Sheila! Really the things you girls pick up these days! ‘ When the characters are saying their story, they build themselves up to a fall, by the fast hard questions that the Inspector stays to them. This makes them have to think quickly and it makes them lose track of their fake story.
Therefore, the characters to say the truth and that puts them in the blame spot because they tried to lie at first but it doesn’t work. This brings up a lot of tension to the characters. An example of this is Eric Birling. In the beginning of Act Three, Eric slowly enters the room and calmly says, ‘You know, don’t you? ‘ this immediately shows that he has something to do with Eva Smith. This brings up a lot of tension on Eric and the family, because they are eagerly to know what is Eric’s involvement with Eva.
In the middle of Act Two, Eric leaves the room; this is because he knows that the Inspector and the family are going to question him. This brings up a lot of tension on Eric because when everybody finds out that he knew Eva Smith then the family are going to blame Eric for what he did with Eva and for her. This is a great fall to Eric because it builds up a great amount of tension in the Act and the audience. Eric doesn’t try to lie about it, he tries to run away from it because he doesn’t like what is going to happen, but the Inspector makes it easier.
In Act Three, the Inspector is specific about his questions to Eric; he speaks to Eric at his normal tone of voice, and he doesn’t make it hard for him, and they are nice and simple, ‘Where did you meet her? …. What happened then? ‘ This shows that the Inspector wants as much information as he can from Eric. Before the Inspector asks questions to Eric, he asks for a drink, and Mr Birling says no, ‘(explosively) No. ‘ but the Inspector says yes, ‘(firmly) Yes….
‘ This is because he wants Eric to be relaxed so he would answer his questions properly, this brought down the tension from Eric, but not nobody else. The relevance of the metaphor ‘Iceberg Right Ahead’ to the play is that the Inspector is like the Iceberg. This is because like the Inspector nobody can get in its way from asking many questions to the family which makes them scared, ‘(cutting in) And my trouble is-that I haven’t much time. You’ll be able to divide the responsibility between you when I’ve gone…. ‘ This shows that the Inspector is strong and not scared of anybody.