Inspector Goole could really be using a dramatic device to show the Birlings and make them look at themselves with disgust. I think it is a bit strange that the Inspector never shows the photo to them all at once, this make me think that either it is a photo of a different girl or in fact not a photograph at all. I think that this was not a photograph the inspector was showing but a mirror. To make them look closely at them selves, exam themselves with disgust and hatred. When they look in the mirror maybe they dont only see themselves, they could see everything they have done in a quick glimpse, maybe they see Eva Smiths face, staring back at them crying in pain and agony. I think the mirror is a good theory. This would explain why each one of them had a different reaction to the photograph.
As they are really seeing themselves and are each reacting with more or less awareness of what they have done. The inspector is not there to destroy their lives. He does not want to ruin them he just wants them to realize what they are doing and change it before it too late. He has a sort of sympathy towards Sheila the youngest child. He does not want to destroy her and make her think that it was all her fault, he just wants to help her And if she leaves us now and doesnt hear anymore then she will fear she is entirely to blame.
The inspector doesnt want her to feel any blame on Evas death, he just wants her to realize she had an impact on Eva Smiths death, so that she can teach herself respect towards others. Inspector Goole only seems off hand with Mr. and Mrs. Birling. It is as if he wants them to set a good example to their children and change the way they are. I think the inspector does feel sympathy towards the children as he realizes they are only like this as this is how their parents brought them up.
There is no possible way that you can take advantage of Inspector Goole. He knows exactly what he is doing. He talks about Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton quite kind and sympathetic, showing that he has affection for her. The Inspector appears to be really successful. The way that he squeezes information out of people, hardly having to say a word himself. He has a way that he will just make them feel so bad about themselves that they spill out all the information.
Also, he keeps on coming back to the point he has asked until he has squeezed all the information he possibly could out. So, the inspector does appear to be successful with getting information out about the death. However, is this really what he is trying to be successful with? If he is trying to make them realize what they have done was he successful? I think that on some members of the family they really did realize what they had done.
Shelia, for example, she felt really bad about what she had done and so did Eric. So the Inspector was successful teaching them a lesson. Mr. and Mrs. Birling however, felt that they had nothing to do with the death and that they were not to blame at all. They were so stubborn they couldnt even realize they were the worst out of all of them. The Inspector was more successful with the information about Eva Smith. Although I think that the ending would have left all of them realizing what they had done, so the Inspector was successful, even if the Birlings would not admit to being in the wrong.
The Inspector has a different impression and impact/effect on each one of the characters. This is due to the fact of the different characteristics of the charters, and how responsible they feel about the death. Mr. Birling is rather annoyed with the Inspectors surprise visit, because he was celebrating his daughters engagement and feels that having an Inspector question him will ruin his chance of being on the New years Honors list. Mr. Birling also feels that the death is his problem at all and that he should have nothing to do with it. This however is entirely wrong, as he was the one that started of the chain reaction that led Eva Smith to her devastating death.
Mrs. Birling reacts really stubbornly. She feels that the Inspector was rude towards her, and she too does not see why the Inspector is bringing her in to this as has far as she can see, she was not to blame at all for the death. The Inspector has a big effect on Sheila. He claims that he often makes a great impression on the younger ones, We often do on the younger ones, they are more impressionable. Sheila is the only one who really hears what the Inspector is actually saying, and feels great sympathy and regret about what had happened. She is not to scared to admit to the Inspector that she knows she was in the wrong, no other character was brave/stronger enough to do this. The Inspectors theory about the younger ones must be correct.
Gerald does not seem to have much of an effect from the Inspector. He seems quite calm about the whole situation, but then the Inspector is a bit nicer towards Gerald as he was the only one who made Eva Smith happy. Gerald leaves half way through the dinner. The biggest effect that the Inspector has on Gerald is that he breaks up their engagement by informing Sheila that Gerald had been having an affair. Gerald almost does not trust the Inspector and sees through his sneaking little ways, as later he questions people about Inspector Goole actually being an Inspector.
Eric Birling, also one of the younger one, has a big effect from the Inspector. He realizes what he had done, and is angry with him self for not being able to help Eva and his baby, he also is mad with himself for stealing money from his father. He is feeling great regret about his actions. The Inspector makes Eric feel as if he killed his own child. Eric is very hurt and angry with himself. The Inspector was trying to effect the Birlings life as he is trying to teach them a lesson about how to behave with others. He said that they have an effect on the younger ones, Sheila and Eric were the only Birlings who actually realized what they had done. The Inspector probably did change their lives. However, Mr. and Mrs. Birling did not feel any different after the Inspectors visit, as they are too stubborn to see they are in the wrong. This is quite sad as they were the main problem and they brought their children up that way, treating others badly, but they can not do a thing to change themselves.