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Get those An Inspector Calls quotes fixed in your head!

 
An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley is a classic GCSE text. And if you do the AQA qualification, you'll get a choice of two questions. On of these is likely to be character based and the other character based. What follows is a quiz based on the sixteen quotes I use with my GCSE classes.

It's not a perfect list. It's not comprehensive. But I am pretty convinced that it will allow you to answer one of the two questions whatever comes up.

Question #1: What does Mr. Birling want himself and Gerald to work for?

Both Birling and Gerald Croft look to combine their companies to make money without considering the effect this will have on their workers.

Question #2: What does Mr. Birling say during his long speech to his children in Act One?

Mr. Birling says the Titanic is unsinkable. This shows that he does not understand the world as well as he thinks he does.

Question #3: Birling laughs at the socialists by saying that they think people are…

Birling's image actually shows how working together like bees can make things better for everyone.

Question #4: How did Eva Smith commit suicide?

The disinfectant is symbolic. Eva has to cleanse the infection of the capitalism that has destroyed her.

Question #5: Which of these things does Birling say about Eva Smith?

There is nothing wrong with Eva Smith's work. She is sacked purely because she asked for a small pay rise for her and her fellow workers.

Question #6: What does Shiela realise about young female workers like Eva Smith?

The fundamental error of Birling and his kind is to view people as figures on a balance sheet and not fully human .

Question #7: What does the Inspector say he is interested in?

The Inspector follows one line of inquiry at a time to show that we are all responsible for our own part in society and that we cannot hide behind the excuse that others are also behaving selfishly.

Question #8: What does Shiela say the Inspector is giving them?

Sheila recognises that the Birlings and Gerald are all guilty - the metaphor implies that she recognises that their behaviour is morally unacceptable.

Question #9: What doesn’t Mrs Birling like about Eva Smith?

Mrs Birling has no rational reason to dislike Eva. She believes she has the right to control Eva's future.

Question #10: What do we find out about Eric on the night he spends with Eva?

Eric unwittingly exploits Eva's vulnerability.

Question #11: How many Eva Smiths does the Inspector say there are?

Eva Smith is a symbol for the entire mistreated working class.

Question #12: What does the Inspector threaten those who will not learn their lesson with?

There is a dual threat of revolution and damnation.

Question #13: What does Birling call the Inspector after he leaves?

Birling dismisses the Inspector as a socialist and a crank, but we, the audience can see that he is in the wrong.

Question #14: What does Birling say when he realises that Inspecctor Goole was not a real police inspector?

Mr Birling is delighted that the Inspector was not 'real'. This shows that he has not learned his lesson and feels no remorse.

Question #15: What is Sheila’s reaction to the behaviour of her father and Gerald at the end of the play?

Sheila, like Eric has come to recognise that we are all responsible for each other. She is shocked that her father and Gerald cannot see this.

Question #16: What does Birling say to end the play?

There is a circular structure. The play ends on the word 'questions' , inviting the audience to consider their own lives.

So, how did you do? Keep coming back and you'll have it down in no time and smash that GCSE.

A couple of tips before you go:
1. There really is just one theme.
The play is about social responsibility. It is intended to show us that we have a moral duty to look after each other and to ensure that self-interest is kept in check.

2. The Inspector's final speech.
The Inspector's final speech towards the end of act 2 is soooo important! Here Priestley tells us exactly what the play is about. You can write a paragraph about the Inspector's final speech in almost any theme based question.

Once we were fiction is a blog by writer and teacher, Geoff Smith.