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Inspector Calls Essay

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INSPECTOR CALLS ESSAY In 1912, women were not treated as equal to men, although they were the ones who were doing most of the hard labour. They didn't get as much pay or respect and this was the case with Eva Smith. The working class and 'upper class' treated each other very differently. The first thing we discover about Eva Smith in J.B. Priestley's play 'An Inspector Calls' is that she is dead, 'Two hours ago a young woman died in the infirmary she'd been taken there this afternoon because she'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant', (p11). Eva Smith was a good-looking working-class woman who was very unsuccessful in many cases in her life, which lead to her death. In this essay I will be discussing that not only was Eva Smith disadvantaged by her status in society but also by the fact that she was a women. At first I will discuss how Eva Smith was treated at 'Birling and Company' where she worked. The owner, Mr Birling was an arrogant and self-proud person who treated his women workers like machines, ' its my duty to keep labour costs down', (p14) and insisted that his workers worked for long hours but in return he decided to pay them very poorly. Eva's status meant that she was forced to work there in the beginning as she was in desperate required money in order to survive. ...read more.


By doing this the character of Sheila shows that she believed that it was acceptable to do this and in society, the 'high status' people really ruled over the 'lower class' and they believed that they could use their high status to their own advantage. Eva Smith was sacked in her job at Milwards because a 'higher class' woman was jealous of Eva's good looks and so intentionally got her sacked from her job. After another unfavourable incident, Eva Smith was now poor and had nowhere to live. She had become in a very bad condition and her usual hangout had become the Palace Bar. This was the place where she met Eric Birling and he was given the impression that she was a prostitute searching for money because Eva was a woman who looked like she was part of a 'lower class'. Eric Birling treated Eva like a sex object and took her back to 'her lodgings', (p51) and raped her. Eva Smith stayed with Eric because she had no money and no place to live but what Eric was looking for in his part of the deal was sex. When Eric discovered that Eva was pregnant, he decided that their relationship was never going to work out and his mother would never agree to the marriage because Eva Smith was part of lower class. ...read more.


Mrs Birling used her high status to her own advantage and so she influenced the committee to refuse a 'girl of that sort, (p47) of any help. In conclusion, we have seen numerous examples of Eva Smith being disadvantaged not only because of the fact that she was part of the 'lower class' but also because she was a woman. The characters took advantage of this to the limit such as when Eric pretended to care for Eva because he wanted sex and Mrs Birling when she refused to help Eva Smith because she was part of the 'lower class'. The Birlings used their high status and their money to put down Eva Smith and she was rejected and turned down many times until she couldn't handle it any longer. Sheila treated Eva Smith like dirt in Milwards and decided to put her high status to use because she was jealous of Eva's good looks. The 'lower class' in the 1912 were very badly treated and the fact that she was a women just made it easier to break Eva Smith down. Nowadays there are many benefits for single women and it was just a shame that the class system of 1912 had many prejudices and snobs. How things would've been different for the life of Eva Smith if she were part of a high status family. ...read more.

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