An Inspector Calls Eva Smith Character Analysis

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In my opinion, Eva Smith is the most significant and important character in the play 'An Inspector Calls'. The reason why I think this is because there is no way in which Priestley would have been able to display his thoughts and views without the character of Eva as she is used as a metaphor to show how women and people in the working class were mistreated at that time. At the time the play was set (1912), class division was something massive and the lower classes were exploited and poorly treated, working women being in the worst position.
Eva Smith is a catalyst for causing responsibility and a catalyst for the downfall of the Birling family. This is something very clear to the audience as the entire family has a different idea of who to
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Socialism is based off of society's workers and the idea that everybody should be treated equally no matter their financial status while Capitalism is the idea and concept of class systems and class division. Eva Smith symbolises the working class and therefore socialism. This is shown as she is a worker and is treated unfairly by her capitalist boss (Mr Birling) and by the rest of the capitalist family, giving the audience a negative impression on Capitalism. The family's capitalist mindset which reveals itself to be extremely arrogant is shown when Mr birling talks about the reason why he fired Eva Smith: "Well, it's my duty to keep labour costs down, and if I'd agreed to this demand for a new rate we'd have added about twelve per cent to our labour costs. Does that satisfy you? So I refused. Said I couldn’t consider it. We were paying the usual rates and if they didn’t like those rates, they could go and work somewhere else. It’s a free country, I told them." The way in which this quote shows Mr Birling's arrogance is that he is not thinking about her future and the fact that it is nearly impossible to find a decent job for a woman of a lower class at that time period. The quote also proves that Mr Birling is a genuinely selfish man as he is only thinking about himself and his factory and not about the girl and her life even though his decisions…show more content…
The name 'Eva' is used to represent who is considered by the bible to be the first woman alive, making Eva Smith some sort of symbol for womankind, the name Smith, similarly, is a quite common British name which also represents all women in general. Her second identity however has a more interesting story which is believed to have a connection with Inspector Goole's quote: "there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still living among us". This quote links to her second identity as she changed her name to 'Daisy', despite the fact that daisy is an appealing flower just like Eva is considered to be an appealing woman, a daisy is also a very common flower and is found in most places. This means that there are several daisies in the world and she just represents one of many, as Inspector Goole's quote states. Finally, her last name in her second identity, which was 'Renton' suggests that she is renting her body to men as a prostitute, yet again representing a group of women who are put in a bad situation not by
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