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Examine the role of Eva in ‘An Inspector Calls’

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Examine the role of Eva in 'An Inspector Calls' The role of Eva Smith in Inspector Calls is crucial to the development of the themes of the play. These themes are lies, love, pride, status, responsibility and Eva is crucial to the development of all these themes. She is never seen in this play but the whole play is set around her and she is the main character in all the acts. Eva represents the lower class and tries to bring about awareness to all class that watch the play. This play also deals with many issues which were very relevant then and some of them are still relevant today. This is why the play is still watched and loved today. The first of the Birlings Eva Smith came across was the arrogant capitalist Mr Birling who was her boss while she worked at his 'penny-pinching' factory, in sub-standard conditions. She would have worked on machines most of the day. The conditions were some of the most dangerous around at the time. There were very strict rules which every person had to keep by. If they didn't keep by these stringent rules then they would be fined and the money would have came out of their modest wages. They could get fined for things that today would be considered petty. Some of these things where leaving there work area dirty laughing and talking, so as you can see it was very strict. This also shows how heart less the employers where and all they were bothered about was making money they didn't care about the people that worked for them one little bit. This then all got to Eva Smith and her working colleagues especially the low wages and the poor working conditions. They then decide that something had to be done about it and the best way to prove their point was to call a strike. ...read more.


The role of women in society those days wasn't very important at all. Most women would stay at home and look after the children while doing the housework while the men would go out and work all day. The man would be the king of the house and would say what went on. If some families had older children then the oldest would look after the young children. This meant that the women could go out to work. If they did work they would work in factories or as shop assistants or in non-skilled jobs. They wouldn't get a lot of pay and if the pay was so low they would get paid yearly because it was difficult to split up in to weekly wage. Women didn't have any right in society in those days the men wore the trousers. Eva was involved with all the Birlings but the next one she was to come across would have be a future Birling, Gerald. This was a stage in Eva life where she needed someone to care for her and that is exactly what Gerald did. Gerald was Eva's 'knight in shining armour,' as he save her from the biggest womaniser in Brumley Joe Meggarty. Gerald took Eva in and put her up in a hotel he made sure that she was all right he spoke to her and comforted her. The relationship develops from their they meet up again and again and they got quite close to each other. Gerald then moved this relationship on to suite his own needs this is when it became sexual. Gerald takes advantage of her and makes her his mistress this is when the relationship really starts to develop. Eva is very dependent on Gerald and will do what ever he says and that is why it is very easy for him to make her his mistress. Eva is also very grateful for Gerald and all the stuff he has done for her. ...read more.


Society has also has also changed there is better working standards there has been big changes in the economy and living standards have risen. This has all came about because people have learnt from their mistakes and they have improve to make the world a better place. There are also certain rules which would never allow standards to slip back to as bad as they where when the Birlings where around. I think this is a very cleverly written play by Priestly. Priestly builds up tension at the end of every scene by starting the interrogation of one of the characters. The tension in this play is built up an up right to the part where the inspector leaves. If you had a graph you could draw a straight line from the part in where he starts interrogating people to when he finishes. The tension then falls but it is then built up again when the telephone rings. So on your graph you would have sharp dip and a sharp rise. The role of the inspector is to find out about all the Birlings secrets and that is what he does. At the end of the day they are all to blame for the death of Eva Smith they all played a part which resulted in her down fall to death. I think the audience does need to see justice done and that is what Priestly tries to make them feel at the end of the play. But who is the real person to blame for the death of Eva Smith. That is why it would have been so hard to take people to court if this had been a real life account of people's lives. This play plays on people's minds and that is exactly what Priestly meant when he wrote it He wrote it to make people act like a community. But the final thing I would say would be that 'everyone is responsible for each other.' ...read more.

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