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English Literature

An Inspector Calls - Plot

The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl.

Act 1a

The Birling family are holding a dinner party to celebrate the engagement of Sheila to Gerald Croft, the son and heir of Mr Birling's rival in business. Although there are a few signs that not everything is perfect (Mr Birling is a bit too anxious to impress Gerald, Eric seems rather nervous and Sheila playfully rebukes Gerald for not having come near her the previous summer) there is a happy, light-hearted atmosphere.

When the ladies leave the men to their port, Mr Birling has a 'man to man' chat with Gerald and Eric, advising them that a man needs to look after himself and his own family and not worry about the wider community. As he is telling them this, the door bell rings. Inspector Goole enters, an impressive, serious man whom none of them has heard of.

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