'An Inspector Calls' - Act 2 Key Quotations

"[Slowly, carefully now] You mustn't try to build up a sort of wall between us and that girl."

- SHEILA -

CONTEXT:

Sheila is being assertive. She is trying to stop her mother from thinking of the lower classes as being entirely different to themselves.

THEMES:

Class; Responsibility

LANGUAGE:

Stage direction adverbs = she is being careful and thoughtful about what to say to her mother.

Metaphor = the "wall" relates to the divide Mrs Birling is trying to create between themselves and Eva/lower classes.

"As if a girl of that sort would ever refuse any money!"

- MRS BIRLING -

CONTEXT:

Mrs Birling is talking about Eva when she approached her charity. She suggests that working-class women wouldn't have a problem with taking money if it was there.

THEMES:

Class; Gender

LANGUAGE:

Insult = refers to Eva as "a girl of that sort". She does not even use her name.

Exclamation mark = the idea of a working-class girl refusing money is absurd to Mrs Birling.

I suppose it was inevitable. She was young and pretty and warm-hearted and intensely grateful."

- GERALD -

CONTEXT:

Gerald is here referring to his affair with Eva/Daisy.

THEMES:

Relationships; Responsibility

LANGUAGE:

Adjectives = Gerald's description of Eva/Daisy reveals the qualities that drew him to her.

"You know, of course, that my husband was Lord Mayor only two years ago and that he's still a magistrate."

- MRS BIRLING -

CONTEXT:

Mrs Birling is using her husband's social status as a means of trying to intimidate the Inspector.

THEMES:

Class; Status; Power; Control

LANGUAGE:

Phrase "of course" = Mrs Birling thinks that Mr Birling's status is common knowledge.

Present tense = "he's still a magistrate" shows that Mr Birling still holds political and social power.

"She's had a long, exciting and tiring day...and now she's obviously had about as much as she can stand."

- GERALD -

CONTEXT:

Gerald says this to the Inspector about Sheila as she begins to act somewhat hysterically.

THEMES:

Gender; Relationships

LANGUAGE:

Adverb = Sheila "obviously" can't continue with the questioning as she is being publicly hysterical. Gerald is trying to get her out of the situation.