From the moment Shelia first speaks to the inspector she starts to change and Eric does too. Shelia seems to notice something about the Inspector that makes her realise her errors and her input in the girls suicide, she realises this when she says ‘We all started like that – So confident, so pleased with ourselves until he began asking questions’ This clearly shows that she is trying to tell the others that there is no point trying to defend themselves against his accusations because no matter how confident they act towards him at first, that will all change as soon as he starts asking questions.She also shows that he is weary of the Inspector when she say to Gerald ‘…
and I hate to think how much he knows that we don’t yet’ I think that when she said this, It proved that she also felt that something wasn’t right about the Inspector and that she realises hat he possibly isn’t who he says he is and maybe she realises that he hasn’t just come to ask them questions about her death, that there is something more in it and there is possibly another reason for the Inspector’s arrival.This is also proven when the Inspector each shows them the picture of Eva Smith(Daisy), he shows them each at different times, never allowing more than on person to view the picture at a time and this shows how precise and accurate his character is. Also the way the Inspector goes about asking them so calm and patient yet demanding and forceful at the same time has a huge impact on Sheila and Eric, perhaps he even has a slight impact on Mr ; Mrs Birling and Gerald.This is proved towards the end when Gerald returns after leaving the Birling family to go for a walk and he tells them about his suspicions regarding the Inspector, he says ‘there is no Inspector Goole’.
He comes back to tell them that the Inspector was not a genuine Inspector and that he knew something was suspicious about him all along, to which the Birling’s all agree that they also felt that something about him was not right.The query of the Inspector being some kind of ghost/ghoul is proven at the end of act three, when Mr Birling receives the phone call telling them that a girl has just died in the infirmary after swallowing some disinfectant and a police Inspector is coming round for them to answer some questions. The use of props in the house during the play is also meant to give us a hint about this.For instance the clock is supposed to show that the time has stopped while the Inspector is there because he wants them to realise and to change, however when only Shelia and Eric show any signs of change the time starts again and after the phone-call a real police Inspector will arrive to ask them questions. The Inspectors impact on each family member is different. Whereas he manages to make Shelia and Eric realise their mistake and try to put things right, Mr & Mrs Birling and Gerald are not so easily changed by the Inspector.
Mrs Birling shows this in her manner of speech towards the Inspector, she shows that she is not weary of the Inspector and tries to prove that she will not change ‘(To Inspector, rather grandly)’ that stage direction of how the speech should be delivered by Mrs Birling proves that she does not feel threatened by the Inspector. Mrs Birling also shows this when she is telling the Inspector about when Eva smith turned up at her work and called herself Mrs Birling ‘A piece of gross impertinence – quite deliberate – and naturally that was one of the things that persuaded me against her case.’ This is showing again that Mrs Birling is a capitalist and that she believes that Eva Smith was looking for trouble when she came to Mr Birling to ask her for help. She shows this because she is basically saying that because she was of a lower-class than herself, and she changed her story, that she then couldn’t be bothered to help her. She also shows that she is capitalist when she says that by Eva’ using her name to cover her own identity she thought that this was done deliberately done to be rude to her.
This is again showing that she believes that she doesn’t have any responsibility for anyone but herself and her close family.