'An Inspector Calls' - Act 3 Key Quotations

"The time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish."

- THE INSPECTOR -

CONTEXT:

The Inspector predicts a hell-like future if people do not learn to look out for one another. It's worth noting that the play is set in 1912, two years before World War 1 began.

THEMES:

Responsibility; Socialism; Empathy; Humanity

LANGUAGE:

Semantic field = nouns such as "fire", "blood", and "anguish" create a semantic field of 'hell'.

"The famous younger generation who know it all. And they can't even take a joke- [Telephone rings sharply]"

- MR BIRLING -

CONTEXT:

After Mr Birling calls the hospital and the police station, he seems to believe that the Inspector was a fake. He mocks his children for buying into the Inspector's idea of socialism and equal responsibility.

THEMES:

Responsibility; Socialism; Generations

LANGUAGE:

Mocking = the adjective "famous" emphasises Mr Birling's dig at his children, lifting up their generation before slamming it back down again.

Stage directions = the ringing of the telephone cuts Mr Birling off, suggesting that this phone call will somehow have an impact on what he was saying.

"Millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us."

- THE INSPECTOR -

CONTEXT:

Part of the Inspector's final speech on socialism and responsibility just before he leaves.

THEMES:

Socialism; Responsibility; Class

LANGUAGE:

Repetition = repetition of "millions" emphasises just how many people are still left in the world in a similar situation to that of Eva.

Pronoun = the use of the first-person collective pronoun "us" incorporates everybody, including the Inspector and the audience.

"We are members of one body - we are responsible for each other."

- THE INSPECTOR -

CONTEXT:

Part of the Inspector's final speech on socialism and responsibility just before he leaves.

THEMES:

Responsibility; Socialism

LANGUAGE:

Pronoun= the first-person collective pronoun "we" brings everybody into the discussion, including the audience.

Metaphor = "one body" suggests that everybody must work together in order to secure peace and order.

"I tell you - whoever that inspector was, it was anything but a joke."

- SHEILA -

CONTEXT:

After the Inspector has left, Sheila is feeling the guilt and responsibility that he has brought of her. She has changed.

THEMES:

Responsibility; Generations

LANGUAGE:

Assertion = "I tell you" has Sheila showing certainty and assertiveness.

Phrase = the line "it was anything but a joke" tells us that Sheila has been deeply affected by their encounter with the Inspector.

"[Sulkily] Well I didn't notice you standing up to him."

- ERIC -

CONTEXT:

Eric is pointing out his father's hypocrisy in that Mr Birling did not stand up to the Inspector himself.

THEMES:

Responsibility; Generations

LANGUAGE:

Stage directions = "sulkily" suggests immaturity and points to Eric being part of the younger generations.

"[Grimly] Don't worry Mrs Birling. I shall do my duty. [Looks at this watch]"

- THE INSPECTOR -

CONTEXT:

The Inspector responds to Mrs Birling's suggestion that he do his duty and have the man responsible for abandoning Eva and her unborn child admit his guilt. Little does she know that this man is her son, Eric.

THEMES:

Responsibility; Control

LANGUAGE:

Stage directions = looking at his watch shows that he is waiting for something to happen, he is expecting it. We find out that he is actually waiting for Eric to return.