“An Inspector Calls” is a timeless play written by J.B. Priestley that delves into themes of social responsibility, morality, and the consequences of our actions. Set in 1912 England, the play revolves around the mysterious visit of Inspector Goole to the wealthy Birling family’s home. As the Inspector investigates the suicide of a young woman named Eva Smith, he uncovers the interconnected web of guilt and hypocrisy that binds the family together.


At the heart of the play lies the revelation of secrets, lies, and the impact of personal choices on others’ lives. Much like an engagement ring with a hidden diamond, the true nature of the characters and their actions remains concealed until the right moment. As the plot unfolds, the hidden diamond of truth gradually emerges, revealing the multifaceted nature of human behavior.


The concept of the hidden diamond can be likened to the underlying motivations and truths that drive the characters’ actions. Each member of the Birling family wears a figurative mask, concealing their flaws and failings beneath a veneer of respectability. Arthur Birling, the patriarch of the family, hides his arrogance and self-importance behind a facade of business success. His wife, Sybil Birling, conceals her cold-heartedness and social snobbery beneath a veneer of charity work. Sheila Birling, their daughter, initially appears shallow and materialistic, but the hidden diamond within her personality is her capacity for growth, empathy, and self-awareness.


The engagement ring itself becomes a symbol of the Birling family’s façade. Gerald Croft’s engagement to Sheila is announced with great excitement, and Sheila is presented with a beautiful ring featuring a hidden diamond. This ring can be seen as a metaphor for the superficiality that often masks deeper truths. Just as the diamond remains hidden until revealed, the characters’ true selves are initially obscured by societal expectations and personal pretenses.


As the Inspector’s questioning deepens

The hidden diamond of each character’s guilt and responsibility comes to light. Eva Smith’s tragic fate becomes a mirror through which their own actions are reflected. The play exposes how their choices, albeit seemingly insignificant at the time, collectively led to Eva’s downfall. The Inspector’s message is clear: we are all connected, and our actions have consequences that extend beyond our immediate awareness.


The phrase “engagement ring with hidden diamond” is used in the book to describe a type of engagement ring that has a diamond hidden inside the band. The hidden diamond in “An Inspector Calls” also reflects the element of surprise and revelation that the play offers its audience. Just as the true motives and connections between the characters are gradually unveiled, the play itself is a journey of discovery for the audience. The unfolding of events, the uncovering of secrets, and the piercing insights offered by the Inspector create a dramatic tension that holds viewers’ attention.


In conclusion

“An Inspector Calls” is a thought-provoking play that uses the metaphor of an engagement ring with a hidden diamond to explore the complexities of human behavior and societal norms. The play’s characters, much like the concealed diamond, harbor concealed truths that are gradually brought to light. The story highlights the interconnectedness of human lives and the repercussions of our actions on others. As the hidden diamond serves as a metaphor for the hidden aspects of the characters and their lives, the play invites us to reflect on the layers of truth, morality, and responsibility that shape our interactions with the world around us.


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