Eva Smith In An Inspector Calls

1426 Words6 Pages
Eva Smith is a subject of common debate amongst the readers of the play ‘An Inspector Calls’. Priestley is a strong socialist and his views are expressed by the portrayal of the character of the inspector as well as Eva Smith. The entire story revolves around Eva which makes her the protagonist in the play. From the moment her character is first introduced in the play to later as the story progresses and unfolds the story revolving round her makes her the most central character. Indeed, when the play is over and we read back over those first few scenes, her manifestation can be felt from the very beginning to the very end: from Gerald’s ambiguous maneuvers when reminded of his evasiveness ‘last summer’ to Birling’s enthusiasm for lower costs…show more content…
Priestley presents the Birling family as the marionettes and Eva Smith as a puppet. This metaphor explains to us how the higher classes of society have complete control over the lower classes of society, women in particular. The phrase used by Mrs. Birling “Girls of that class” clearly gives us a general perspective of what the Birling family thought about anyone who isn’t equal to them. These exact words show us that Mrs. Birling thought that she was socially and morally superior to Eva Smith and also that those sorts of class are worthless and meritless. This also suggests that Mrs. Birling still felt that she wasn’t in any way responsible for Eva Smith’s suicide. She emphasized on the words ‘that type’ which shows us her disgust for the career…show more content…
The play also arguably acts as a critique of Victorian-Era notions of middle class philanthropy towards the poor who believed themselves to be socially superior and had severe moral judgements towards the poor. It also represents the differences and the struggles between the younger and older generation. “Perhaps I ought to warn you that he’s an old friend of mine and that I see him fairly frequently.” This quote clearly suggests that Mr. Birling is trying to bully the inspector through his status and authority in society and the power he has over him, Mr. Birling is comprehending that he is more important than the officer. He believes that having political and social power over people makes him all-powerful, even when he refers to the working class or the middle class. He thinks that the working class is just there to serve you as a labor. Mr. Birling suggests that the working class are not worth crying over, when he uses the quote ‘Several hundred women’ he sees Eva as just one of those worthless girls who worked at his money-making factory. This shows us his overall mindset that all his workers had not more value to him than that they were workers who just earned profits for him. By saying “they keep changing” he shows the readers that he wouldn’t have cared if any woman or man would’ve left his factory. Sheila also argues that her dad had a
Get Access