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An Inspector Calls Study Guide

by J. B. Priestley

An Inspector Calls study guide contains a biography of J.B. Priestley, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

One evening in the spring of 1912, the Birlings are celebrating their daughter Sheila’s engagement to Gerald Croft, who is also present. Husband and wife Arthur and Sybil Birling, along with their son Eric, are pleased with themselves. Birling toasts the happy couple, and Gerald presents Sheila with a ring which absolutely delights her.

Birling makes a lengthy speech, not only congratulating Gerald and Sheila, but also commenting on the state of the nation. He predicts prosperity, particularly referring to the example of the “unsinkable” Titanic, which set sail the week earlier. Birling styles himself as a “hard-headed man of business.”

The women leave the room, and Eric follows them. Birling and Gerald discuss the fact that Gerald might have…

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