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Character Study Of Eva Smith In An Inspector Calls

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Introduction

Character Study Of Eva Smith In An Inspector Calls The story of exactly what happened to Eva Smith unfolds throughout Act One, as the audience learns that each of the Birlings has hurt her in a different way. First, the audience learns that eighteen months before her suicide, Mr. Birling dismissed her from her job because she'd had "far too much" to say on the subject of her unfair wages. Later, it emerges that Sheila had her sacked from the store, mainly because she was in a "furious temper" and "jealous" of Eva. Eva is described as "a lively good-looking girl, country bred", and "a good worker", and is described by Sheila as someone who looked like she could "take care of herself". ...read more.

Middle

What the reader knows for certain is tat Eva Smith is a young, working-woman who is quite poor and innocent. One detail in particular brings the audience's sympathy towards Eva Smith: the fact she had to change her name. The Birlings use their family name as well as Gerald Croft's to try to intimidate the Inspector. To them, these names represent wealth, respect, and a place in upper-class society. Eva's situation starkly contrasts with this. The fact that she can so easily change her name shows that she possesses nothing, and has nobody to help her. To people like the Birlings, she is just one of "so many girls" that "keep on changing", and her name is irrelevant. ...read more.

Conclusion

At several points throughout the play, Sheila's parents try to send her away so that she will not be shocked by the details of the death of Eva Smith. The Birlings expect working-class girls to experience things that they do not want their daughter to even hear about. By drawing attention to Sheila's privileged lifestyle, Eva's life is made to seem even more pitiful. Overall, the character of Eva Smith was quite vulnerable to the Birlings. We know that each member of the Birling family had a part to play in the death of the girl. Although her appearances described from each family member are different, as far as we know, Eva Smith was an innocent woman. Amar Hayer 10PFL ...read more.

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