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* AdaptationalNameChange: The film version changes the inspector's name from Goole to Poole.


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* AmbiguouslyHuman: The film makes the Inspector out to be more explicitly "supernatural" than does the play. In the play, he is ushered in by the maid, while in the film he simply appears suddenly in the dining room as if from nowhere, accompanied by an ominous chord in the background music. In the middle of the film, he inspects his pocket watch and asks Eric to enter the room. He states he has just heard Eric come through the door; but eerily he states this before Eric does come through the door. Likewise, at the end, when the family receives the phone call that the local police are on their way to question them, the Inspector is supposedly in the study, but when the family checks to see if he is there, they find an empty chair and that he has gone.


* ObliviouslyEvil: Sheila is the only one who knew at the time she was hurting Eva (and on some level doing it on purpose)--she was just too weak-willed in that moment to stop herself. The Birling parents and Gerard are various levels of EntitledBastard, so used to being socially privileged they didn't think to consider they weren't in the right or what harm an idle choice could do; in Eric's case, although his wealth also played a role in insulating him from consequences, his wrongs against Eva/Daisy stem from his immaturity and drinking problem. However, the play makes that the case that being this oblivious to one's capacity for harm is itself a type of sin.

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* ObliviouslyEvil: Sheila is the only one who knew at the time she was hurting Eva (and on some level doing it on purpose)--she was just too weak-willed in that moment to stop herself. The Birling parents and Gerard are various levels of EntitledBastard, so used to being socially privileged they didn't think to consider they weren't in the right or what harm an idle choice could do; in Eric's case, although his wealth also played a role in insulating him from consequences, his wrongs against Eva/Daisy stem from his immaturity and drinking problem. However, the play makes that the case that being this oblivious to one's capacity for harm is itself a type of sin.


* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Mr Birling seems more concerned with the loss of his money - a small amount to him compared to his total wealth - than with Eric impregnating Eva Smith or her death.

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* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: PlayedForDrama. Mr Birling seems more concerned with the loss of his money - a small amount to him compared to his total wealth - than with Eric [[spoiler:Eric impregnating Eva Smith Smith]] or her death.



* CaptainOblivious: Mrs Birling.

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* CaptainOblivious: Mrs Birling.Birling is blind to anything scandalous unless it's spelled out to her.


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** When Gerald starts telling his story about how he had an affair with Daisy Renton, it's blatantly obvious where the story is going to everyone except her, as she doesn't realize until Gerald bluntly states that she was his mistress.
** She doesn't realize that [[spoiler:Eric is the father of Eva's child]] until the inspector more or less tells her.

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* WhamLine: The closing line: [[spoiler:"That was the police. A girl has just died on the way to the infirmary after swallowing some disinfectant. A police inspector is on the way here to ask some questions..."]]


* YourCheatingHeart: Gerald to Daisy Renton.

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* ObliviouslyEvil: Sheila is the only one who knew at the time she was hurting Eva (and on some level doing it on purpose)--she was just too weak-willed in that moment to stop herself. The Birling parents and Gerard are various levels of EntitledBastard, so used to being socially privileged they didn't think to consider they weren't in the right or what harm an idle choice could do; in Eric's case, although his wealth also played a role in insulating him from consequences, his wrongs against Eva/Daisy stem from his immaturity and drinking problem. However, the play makes that the case that being this oblivious to one's capacity for harm is itself a type of sin.


* ExactWords: In an attempt to intimidate Inspector Goole, Mr. Birling says that he plays golf with the police constable, and asks whether Goole is that close to the man. Goole coolly replies that he does not play golf (which you may note doesn't actually answer the question). This is both a polite screw-you to Mr. Birling's attempt to bully him, and [[spoiler: a way to conceal that he does not in fact know the constable at ''all'', because he's not really an inspector.]]

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* ExactWords: In an attempt to intimidate Inspector Goole, Mr. Birling says that he plays golf with the police constable, and asks whether Goole is that close to the man. Goole coolly replies that he does not play golf (which you may note doesn't actually answer the question). This is both a polite screw-you to Mr. Birling's attempt to bully him, and [[spoiler: a way to conceal that he does not in fact know the constable at ''all'', because he's not really an inspector.inspector, without straight-out lying.]]


* ExactWords: In an attempt to intimidate Inspector Goole, Mr. Birling says that he plays golf with the police constable, and asks whether Goole is that close to the man. Goole coolly replies that he does not play golf (which you may note doesn't actually answer the question). This is both a polite screw-you to Mr. Birling's attempt to bully him, and [[spoiler: a way to conceal that he does not in fact know the constable at ''all'', because he's not really an inspector.]]



* OhCrap: Sheila's reaction to her mother's speech about [[spoiler: how the father of Eva's child should take responsibility for his actions]] could be considered this, as well as Mrs Birling once the Inspector delivers a WhamLine.
* OrWasItADream: How the play ends. Eva Smith/Daisy Renton was real, but [[spoiler:there is no Inspector Goole, and Eva Smith may not have committed suicide - at least, not until after "Inspector Goole" leaves and Mr Birling gets a phone call]]...

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* OhCrap: Sheila's reaction to her mother's speech about [[spoiler: how the father of Eva's child should take responsibility for his actions]] could be considered this, this (she's much faster on the uptake than the rest of her family and realizes that they're all connected to Eva, and [[spoiler: Eric hasn't been singled out yet, so it's got to be him]]), as well as Mrs Birling once the Inspector delivers a WhamLine.
* OrWasItADream: How the play ends. Eva Smith/Daisy Renton was real, but [[spoiler:there is no Inspector Goole, and Eva Smith may not have committed suicide - at least, not until after "Inspector Goole" leaves and Mr Birling gets a phone call]]... (The 2015 film adaptation does away with this; [[spoiler: it shows Eva's death, with Goole watching helplessly and on the verge of tears, before the call comes.]])


* NiceMeanAndInBetween: Sheila and Eric are shocked when they discover their involvement in Eva's death and end the play feeling disgusted with themselves (Sheila also had the least involvement, and Eric had actively tried to help Eva in some way). The Birling parents treated Eva with contempt because of her class, and [[spoiler: when they learn there is no Inspector Goole, they're happy to be off the hook and don't care about the harm they may have caused to a poor girl]]. Gerald is in between, where he feels remorse for his actions but is likewise happy at the prospect of not having to answer for them.
* NotLikeOtherGirls: Eric's attraction to Eva was that she was different to the shallow middle class girls he normally went with.

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* NiceMeanAndInBetween: Sheila and Eric are shocked when they discover their involvement in Eva's death and end the play feeling disgusted with themselves (Sheila also had the least involvement, and Eric had actively tried to help Eva in some way).themselves. The Birling parents treated Eva with contempt because of her class, and [[spoiler: when they learn there is no Inspector Goole, they're happy to be off the hook and don't care about the harm they may have caused to a poor girl]]. Gerald is in between, where he feels remorse for his actions but is likewise happy at the prospect of not having to answer for them.
* NotLikeOtherGirls: Eric's attraction to Eva was that she was different to the shallow middle class girls he normally went with.



* SpotOfTea: In the Daldry production, which (since 1992) is the one generally staged, the Inspector is seen interacting silently with various characters outside of the family. This includes politely accepting a cup of tea off Edna. In the original play, although it's not clear whether he's [[TheTeetotaler a teetotaller]], he emphatically refuses Birling's offer of a drink.

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* SpotOfTea: In the Daldry production, which (since 1992) is the one generally staged, the Inspector is seen interacting silently with various characters outside of the family. This includes politely accepting a cup of tea off Edna. In the original play, although it's not clear whether he's [[TheTeetotaler a teetotaller]], play he emphatically refuses Birling's offer of a drink.drink since he is "on duty".


Set in the year 1912, the play follows the story of a middle-class family called the Birlings, who are celebrating the engagement of daughter Sheila to a much-older upper-class Gerald Croft, secretly hoping that the marriage will make them even richer. The party is then interrupted by an inspector from the local police, who has been sent by the precinct to question them about the possible reasons behind the suicide of a working-class woman named Eva Smith. Each of the guests at the dinner-table are questioned, despite some protests of annoyance, but the family soon find out that they all have had dealings with the woman, and learn that there’s more to their seemingly-perfect world than they previously believed.

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Set in the year 1912, the play follows the story of a middle-class family called the Birlings, who are celebrating the engagement of daughter Sheila to a much-older upper-class Gerald Croft, secretly hoping that the marriage will make them even richer. The party is then interrupted by an a local police inspector from the local police, who has been sent by the precinct to question them about the possible reasons behind is investigating the suicide of a young working-class woman named Eva Smith. Each of the guests at the dinner-table are questioned, despite some protests of annoyance, but the family soon find out that they all have had dealings with the woman, and learn that there’s more to their seemingly-perfect world than they previously believed.



** She doesn’t realize that Eric was drunk at the party (probably even '''early''' into the party) and was possibly an alcoholic. When Sheila claims that he’s drunk (albeit jokingly), her mother scolds her.

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** She doesn’t realize that Eric was drunk at the party (probably has been a heavy drinker for some time, and even '''early''' into the party) and was possibly an alcoholic. When denies this when Sheila claims that he’s drunk (albeit jokingly), her mother scolds her.points this out.



* CharacterDevelopment: With the possible exception of Mr and Mrs Birling, each of the characters is a changed person by the end of the play.

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* CharacterDevelopment: With the possible exception of Mr Sheila and Mrs Birling, each of the characters is Eric grow up a changed person lot and by the end of the play.play have accepted their responsibility for the girl's death.



* {{Cliffhanger}}: The play ends on one as Mr Birling gets a phone call that [[spoiler:a girl connected to the family has committed suicide, and a police inspector is on his way to the house to question them]].

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* {{Cliffhanger}}: The play ends on one as Mr Birling gets a phone call that [[spoiler:a girl connected to the family has committed suicide, and a police inspector is on his way to the house to question them]].


* BreakTheHaughty: Sheila realises just how much her own jealousy and vanity affected a less privileged girl, and is thoroughly remorseful by the end of the play.



* FatBastard: Mr Birling.
* FirstNameBasis: Edna, the maid.

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* FatBastard: Mr Birling.
Birling is the least sympathetic character, and often portrayed as stout.
* FirstNameBasis: Edna, the maid. Usually maids of a certain station are referred to by their last name.



* NotLikeOtherGirls: Eric's attraction to Eva was that she was different to the shallow middle class girls he normally went with.



* PosthumousCharacter: Eva Smith/Daisy Renton.

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* PosthumousCharacter: Eva Smith/Daisy Renton.Renton, whose death has already happened before the play begins, but the audience discovers plenty about her via second hand information.


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* UpperClassTwit: Upper middle class anyway. The Birling parents and Gerald are zero percent sympathetic.

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* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Inspector ''Goole''. Downplayed in that he ''is'' genuinely benevolent, if an example of GoodIsNotSoft.


[[caption-width-right:250:Public men, Mr. Birling, have responsibilities as well as privileges.]]

->''One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions and million of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do. We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.''
-->'''Inspector Goole'''

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[[caption-width-right:250:Public [[caption-width-right:250:''"Public men, Mr. Birling, have responsibilities as well as privileges.]]

->''One
"'']]

->''"One
Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions and million of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do. We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.''
-->'''Inspector
"''
-->-- '''Inspector
Goole'''

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* EvilOldFolks: The two parents are shown to be more evil than the others. At least their children end the play feeling remorse.


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* IAmNotPretty: Sheila's insecurities over her own looks are what led to Eva being dismissed from her second job.
* {{Irony}}:
** Sheila's jealousy over Eva Smith apparently looking prettier than her is what leads to her fiance having an affair with her!
** Sybil spends quite a few lines of dialogue slamming the man who got Eva pregnant, unaware that [[spoiler: it's her son. And denying her own grandchild charity to boot!]]


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* JerkassHasAPoint: Eric did get a girl pregnant thanks to some drunken idiocy and while he stole money from his father, he points out it was stolen to help the mother of his child. And that if he ''had'' gone to his father, he was unlikely to have gotten the help Eva needed.


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* NiceMeanAndInBetween: Sheila and Eric are shocked when they discover their involvement in Eva's death and end the play feeling disgusted with themselves (Sheila also had the least involvement, and Eric had actively tried to help Eva in some way). The Birling parents treated Eva with contempt because of her class, and [[spoiler: when they learn there is no Inspector Goole, they're happy to be off the hook and don't care about the harm they may have caused to a poor girl]]. Gerald is in between, where he feels remorse for his actions but is likewise happy at the prospect of not having to answer for them.


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* SevenDeadlySins: Present in how the characters treated Eva in their crossings with her. The older characters have two sins each, fittingly as a commentary on the older generation.
** Mr Birling showed '''Greed''' by denying her the raise she needed to live, and '''Wrath''' by angrily dismissing her for even asking. He also yells at his children a lot.
** Sheila showed '''Envy''' by getting her fired from the shop when she was jealous that Eva looked prettier than her.
** Gerald showed '''Lust''' by having an affair with her while he was courting Sheila.
** Eric showed '''Gluttony''' by his excessive drinking, which led to getting Eva pregnant.
** Mrs Birling showed '''Sloth''' by not doing her duty as a charity worker when encountering the pregnant Eva. She also showed '''Pride''' by viewing Eva as beneath her because of the class difference.

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* DiggingYourselfDeeper: Mrs Birling's constant attempts to deflect any blame she may have for the suicide. Lampshaded by Sheila.


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* OhCrap: Sheila's reaction to her mother's speech about [[spoiler: how the father of Eva's child should take responsibility for his actions]] could be considered this, as well as Mrs Birling once the Inspector delivers a WhamLine.


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* TheWarOnStraw: Mr Birling, representing the bourgeoisie. Priestley does everything possible to stack the deck against him, such as using the sinking of the ''Titanic'' and the outbreak of the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI First World War]] as illustrations of his complacency. In early 1912, ''nobody'' was expecting the ''Titanic'' to sink, and it wouldn't have been crazy to expect there not to be a war.

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