Eric and Mr. Birling in Act III
At the end of Act II of An Inspector Calls, the inspector asks Mrs. Birling what should be done with the culprit, to which she replies he should be severely dealt with, only for Eric to walk in at that moment, which is when the scene ends.
Priestly uses a variety of literary techniques to build tension, some of which include, Eric bursting in just as we find out that he is the father of Eva’s baby. This is made even more gripping because of how Mrs. Birling had emphasized the extent of the punishment the father should receive. Also the use of stage directions makes the audiences sympathize with the characters, Eric miserably asks for a drink and Mr. Birling explosively says ‘No!’ Lastly, Priestley’s main technique for building suspense is interrogating each member of the family in turn. This builds anticipation, as we are eager to find out what will happen in each family members interview and how it will affect the inspector’s final actions. Also the one-by-one interrogation makes the final speech all the more effective as it relates to each of his interviews.
In regards to Mr. Birling’s language, if we had not thought of him as a greedy, arrogant man before, thanks to Priestley’s sophisticated writing it becomes blatant in Act III. Priestly leaves the reader to discover Birling’s narcissistic character by not actually describing it in so many words. Through his conversations with his family and his actions (stage directions), we see his true personality, which is one that longs for wealth and reputation. In regards to Eric stealing money, Birling says ‘you must give me a list of those accounts, I’ve got to cover this up as soon as I can’ this quote shows how Birling sees this whole situation. Instead of relising how sad it is that he’s brought up a child that steals from his own father and rapes young women or furthermore, that he contributed someone death he is far more concerned about covering up what has happened and...