The third and final exit I am looking at is probably the most important in the play it is when the Inspector finally leaves after giving his “fire blood and anguish” speech. Just before he leaves the Inspector summarizes each characters involvement and what they have done. I think he does this so they are heavily in thought and have no need to stop him leaving. As you can see from the stage diagram there is a lot of movement in the exit. The Inspector, speaks to each character in turn reminding them of what they have done, before his finally speech to them all before he leaves.
Firstly he talks to Sheila about her getting Eva sacked. Then he talks to Mr Birling about why he sacked her and so on. As the arrows on my stage diagram show he moves from one person to another talking to only one person at a time as he does at all times during the play. He showed the photo individually and questioned the characters individually. After he leaves Mrs Birling sits down in the chair and Sheila walks to the side of the stage crying. Eric is stood at the sideboard and Mr Birling is pacing and he then walks over to the sideboard with Eric. Mr Birling is the only active one and he is active through the whole play.
The Inspector makes a very significant speech just before he leaves. At the beginning of this speech the lighting should be slightly dim to reflect the other characters mood but they should all be visible. When the Inspector utters the word “fire blood and anguish” the spotlight should flash red and orange to reflect his mood. The spotlight should flash in time with the words also to emphasise the importance and foresight of these words. The spotlight should then remain white and follow him out the room. When he leaves from sight the stage should go black and the spotlights should come on showing each of the characters.
In this exit I think both the stage directions and the dialogue generate dramatic impact. Probably the best speech or at least the speech with the most dramatic impact is the Inspectors “fire, blood and anguish speech”. The dramatic impact of this is great because of the fact he is seeing into the future and predicting war. The Inspector says, “We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other and I tell you the time will come when if man will not learn that lesson, then he will be taught it in fire blood and anguish. good night. ”
This speech highlights the central theme of the play, responsibility and guilt. He says, “we are responsible for each other” like in Eva Smith’s case they were all responsible to her in some way. The Inspector also says “goodnight” at the end, which brings everything to a close with him leaving. It shows it is his final speech and he feels there is nothing else to add. This highlights J. B Priestly’s view on life politics and the problems with society. It is obvious what he thinks about the wars. The stage directions also produce dramatic impact in their description of his departure.
They say, “He walks straight off” this shows he is leaving of his own accord after he has finished not after being asked to leave. It also says, “leaving them staring, subdued and wondering. ” This illustrates that the characters are unsure and don’t know what to say or do. The words of the Inspector are stuck in their minds and they can’t quite take it in. The stage directions also show how each character is affected by telling us what they are doing. “Sheila is still quietly crying”; this again shows Sheila as the weak female that can’t live with what she has done.
“Mrs Birling has collapsed into a chair,” this once more shows she is shocked and has collapsed at what the Inspector has said. The two other characters are standing “Birling the only active one” is moving about and goes to pour himself a drink as if he wants to drown his sorrows. “Eric is brooding desperately” this is yet more evidence that Priestly wanted to show women as the weaker sex. The men are standing because they are strong and can take this or at least hide it. But the women are weak and are crying or have collapsed into a chair making them appear less mentally and physically strong.
Priestly’s points of view are made clear through dialogue as well. The Inspector’s final speech particularly stands out as one of the speeches where it is Priestly talking not just the characters. The speech is Priestly warning about war as well as the Inspector warning the Birlings. He says, “We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other and I tell you the time will come when if man will not learn that lesson, then he will be taught it in fire blood and anguish good night. ” This clearly is Priestly’s view on war and the causes.
He is basically saying that if men had taken responsibility for their actions then they would not have been taught a lesson in fire, blood and anguish, and less, or no men, would have died in the trenches or on the beaches as a result of war. This is relevant all through the play. In fact the play could be an analogy of war; each country is shown as a character and Eva is all the millions of dead. As far as I can see “An Inspector Calls” is J. B Priestly’s view on life, politics, sociology, class and the division or difference of the sexes and the stage is a good way of getting his points voiced and his message heard.