We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.

This is from the Inspector’s final speech to the family in Act Three, just before he leaves their house. It is the most obvious crystallization of his thinking, which he has developed throughout the course of the play, and which seems to have motivated his very presence in the household. The Inspector’s version of socialism is particularly utopian. It seems related to Marxist critique of capitalist labor practices, which argues that owners of capital are inherently unwilling to consider the plight of those who work for them. In the Inspector’s view, humans quite simply have an obligation to one another because it is right in the abstract to care for other people, and, more urgently, because a world that ignores the connections between people is not a stable world at all.

Thus the Inspector’s speech is the ultimate instance in the text of dramatic irony and foreshadowing. For the Inspector predicts that the clash between individual and collective interests will produce need for reckoning throughout Europe and the West. It will have to sort out what belongs to whom, and what people owe to one another. This reckoning, the Inspector says, will not be pleasant or easy. And perhaps it could be avoided altogether if people were more willing to consider those outside their immediate social or family circles. Thus the Inspector is both a hardheaded pragmatist who warns of what can happen to society, and a utopian idealist who wants people to improve because he fundamentally believes that it is possible and right for them to do so. This speech serves as the final word from the Inspector, and he leaves just after. The family, with the exception of Sheila, spends the rest of play not thinking about what the Inspector has said, but wondering about his legitimacy to say it.