An Inspector Calls Paper

This essay has a total of 1231 words and 6 pages.

An Inspector Calls


An Inspector Calls





Although the play an "Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley, takes the form of a

"Whodunit", it gradually becomes clear that there is an underlying serious issue. The play
examines social responsibility, with the Birling family and Gerald Croft being questioned
about the suicide of Eva Smith.


When the inspector arrives at the Birling estate uninvited he suspects the family of being
some way involved in the events leading up to the death of Eva Smith. The Inspector
describes Eva Smith as "A young woman…. A bit out of the ordinary…" As the story
unfolded my feelings of sympathy for Eva grew stronger and stronger. This is surprising as
she does not appear in the play and is in fact dead before the play begins.


The Inspector starts his inquiry by questioning Mr. Birling who is the owner of a large
company, which employs several hundred young girls. Mr. Birling describes Eva who was one
of his employees as "a lively good-looking girl-country bred" he continues to say that she
had been working for the company for over a year and that she was an excellent worker. Mr.
Birling describes Eva and some of her work colleagues as being "rather restless" after the
summer vacation; this resulted in them demanding a pay rise of an increase from twenty-two
and six to twenty five shillings a week. Mr. Birling dismissed this completely, which
resulted in the workers going on strike. Mr. Birling took action and sacked the
ringleaders, Eva Smith being one of them. At this point I did not feel any sympathy for
Eva as I felt she had brought these problems on herself. Mr. Birling was right to take the
action, which he did. This was the start of a down ward spiral for Eva Smith.


Eva's fortunes changed, however, as in a couple of months she found herself a new job at
the large department store, Milwards. Eva was delighted with her new job which made her
the happiest she had been in a long time. "She was among pretty clothes." The Inspectors
line of inquiry turned to Mr. Birling's daughter, Sheila. He wanted to try and establish
her involvement in the death of Eva Smith. Sheila used Milwards store regularly. Sheila
was out shopping for the perfect dress. After many fruitless visits to other stores Sheila
finally decided to try Milwards. She demanded to try a particular dress on, against her
mother's advice. After trying it on she realized to her horror that it looked terrible on
her. Eva innocently held the dress up against herself to show the dress to the other
assistant. Sheila saw out of the corner of her eye that it suited her perfectly. Sheila
became terribly jealous and shouted at the assistant, getting herself into a "furious
temper" "Sheila went straight to the manager and complained," this selfish gesture
resulted in Eva losing her second job in about as many months. Sheila felt terribly guilty
on reflection that her own personal shortcomings had resulted in Eva's dismissal. I felt
sorry for Eva, as she loved this job which she was well suited to.


After suffering a short spell of depression, Eva Smith decided to put her past troubles
behind her by changing her name to Daisy Renton. Gerald Croft (Sheila's fiance) sits up
and begins to take an interest when the Inspector asks Gerald to tell him the story of his
meetings with Daisy. Gerald explains uneasily that he met Daisy at the Stalls bar in the
Palace Variety Theatre, which is a meeting place for the "hard-eyed dough-faced women' as
Gerald put it. Across the room he spotted someone who was not like the rest "she was very
pretty-soft brown hair and big dark eyes." He continues his story; he introduced himself
to her and before long they were on their way to the County Hotel, a more respectable bar.
They had a few drinks and got talked. Before long he knew that she was out of work,
penniless and homeless. Gerald took pity on her after hearing her tale of woe. He offered
her a nice little set of rooms in a nice area of the city, which he had to mind for a
friend while he was away on business to Canada. He also gave her some money to live on for
a while. Gerald visited Eva a lot; he made the excuse to his fiancee Sheila that he was
busy with work. Six months later Gerald had to go away for a few weeks on business so he
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