• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the dramatic effect of Eva Smith in relation to two of the characters in

Extracts from this document...


Assess the dramatic effect of Eva Smith in relation to two of the characters in "An Inspector Calls". We are halfway through Act Three of "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley. The Inspector has, just as eerily and spookily as he arrived, exited the home of the Birling family. His provocation of the revelations that have been forced out by all members of the family including Sheila's husband-to-be Gerald, has left them bewildered and as very different people to the happy family group they were a few hours previously. In this play, the Inspector has very prominently acted as the representative for Eva Smith, who has apparently died tragically this night. We are given a few details about this girl - she was country-born and was blessed with "soft brown hair and dark brown eyes" and a pretty appearance. Taking into account the fact that Eva is a young woman to whom we have never spoken and who does not physically enter this play at all - she is but a diary, a photograph and a story - how exactly has she managed to affect these five lives so colossally? I will focus on the reactions of and the effect upon Arthur and Sheila Birling - father and daughter. ...read more.


Sheila's mother and the sales assistant, Miss Francis, had both advised Sheila that to try the dress on would be a mistake, but she had insisted. After having tried the dress on, Sheila knew immediately that the two had been right all along, and that the dress did not flatter her at all. Sheila described how "this girl" [Eva] had "brought the dress up from the workroom, and when the assistant - Miss Francis - had asked her something about it, to show us what she meant, she had helped the dress up, as if she was wearing it". Sheila said it "just suited her" and that she was jealous of her figure and her "dark eyes". Then, when Sheila was looking at herself in the dress, she caught sight of Eva smiling at Miss Francis. Becoming furious and taking the smile the wrong way, Sheila promptly demanded to see the manager and insisted that, unless they fired Eva, she would boycott the store forever. Sheila "used her power as the daughter of a respected customer" to make life difficult and miserable for Eva. This, we are told by the Inspector, was Eva's final steady job - she was never employed again. ...read more.


Her brother Eric's life had become intertwined with Eva's when he was intoxicated at the Palace Variety Bar, and "picked her up". Eric is a character whose life seems to have become very difficult and complicated - it may have taken someone like Eva to make him change his ways and think about his disregard for everything rational and caring. The audience hopes, however, that the person upon whom Eva Smith has had the most dramatic effect is Arthur Birling. It is rather saddening to watch the family having had such an experience, almost a blessing, with a prophet such as Inspector Goole and his interrogation. This is because he has taught Arthur, Sybil, Sheila, Eric and Gerald a very valuable lesson, which half of the family has apparently taken no note of whatsoever. It is apparent that Eva Smith, Daisy Renton or whoever it was coming into contact with the Birling family over the said period of time may not exist, but this has not stopped her from having an extremely consequential effect on five people. Priestley has, fully intentionally of course, left us wondering if the Birlings will think about their effect upon people around them - or whether they will have to be taught their lesson of concern for those of lower social standing in fire, blood and anguish. 1 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Eva Smith's Diary.

    I love him so much. We barely spent a day apart. Once I told him I was pregnant he didn't want to know. He offered me money and I took it. He offered me more but when I asked him where it was from, it turned out to be stolen.

  2. Eva Smith's Diary

    get ready to start a new term of the job and I have to meet some of the girls to ask them how the strike was going to if the plan was ready. - But what if it doesn't work?

  1. Extracts from the diary of Eva Smith.

    One of his friends had, by a stroke of luck, gone on holiday to Canada for a while and had given Gerald the key. So Gerald insisted I move into one of the rooms at Morgan Terrace. We've only just met and the kindness that Gerald has shown me is overwhelming.

  2. Eva Smith's Diary

    There's a man there who pesters me, and then one day, all of a sudden, there was this man, Mr. Croft I think his name was. He came in for a drink at the time the old man, Meggarty, was leaning so close in to me, and sort of, well, drooling over me, like a dog over a bone.

  1. Eva Smith's Diary

    But she did. She must have gone to the manager, complaining that I was not showing respect, being rude even. And then she would have exploited her power as the daughter of a good customer and of a well known businessman, to essentially make sure that I got the letter

  2. Inspector calls - Analyse the dramatic impact of the revelations that Mrs.Birling turned down ...

    When the first revelation is exposed Sheila shows nothing but disgust towards her mother as well as pity towards Eva Smith. '(With feeling) Mother, I think it was cruel and vile' - Here Sheila enlightens her mother of what she felt about her mother turning down Eva Smith's request help.

  1. Eva Smith's Diary.

    He threatened to have me arrested, if I didn't leave his property "forthwith" I left. When I got home I gathered my things, settled up, and moved out. For the time being I am living in digs until I can find another job, which won't be easy now I've been sacked.

  2. Eva Smith's Diary

    For the first time I feel things might finally work right for me, and oh how I hope they do. 30th December 1910 My life is still normal as of yet. Work is better than ever, I even got a raise last week.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work