The Birling family live in [[Brumley]]. It is described as an [[industrial]] city in the North Midlands and would likely to have had factories and housing for the thousands of workers. When the play opens the Birling family are celebrating the [[engagement]] of Sheila and Gerald croft. The mood seems to be [[positive]], friendly and happy. Arthur Birling hopes the marriage will help his [[business]]. The ladies retire to the [[drawing room]] and leave the men to drink their [[port]] and have a 'man to man' chat. Birling's social aspirations become apparent when he tells Gerald that he might be in line for a [[knighthood]]. He says that "a man has to make his own [[way]] and not worry about [[others]]. As he is telling them this the [[doorbell]] rings and an impressive and serious man enters.