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The Suicide Of Eva Smith In An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

3018 words - 12 pages

The Suicide of Eva Smith in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

The play "An Inspector Calls", was written by J.B. Priestly in 1945,
following the end of World War II. It is set in 1912, two weeks before
the Titanic set sail, and two years before World War I began. It was a
time of political unrest. The working class were attempting to gain
higher wages, and in places they couldn't, strikes occurred. A strike
had just taken place in a local factory, owned by Arthur Birling,
after demanding raised wages. This strike takes place just after the
holidays, when the women had little or no money left, so they couldn't
afford to abscond from work for long. When they went back to work, the
ringleaders were fired. This is where the play begins.

Gerald Croft is the son of the respectable Lord and Lady Croft, who
own the well established manufacturing company Crofts Limited. He is
in his early thirties. He has been well raised, and has impeccable
manners. He had just become engaged to Sheila Birling, the daughter of
Arthur Birling, who owns a rival company called Birling and Companies.

Eric Birling is the son of Sybil Birling, a woman of the landed class,
and Arthur Birling, a man who has worked his way up from being one of
the lower-class, to one of importance in his town. Eric is in his late
twenties to early thirties. He has also been raised well, has recently
completed university, and has now joined his fathers company of
Birling and Companies.

Gerald is the third person to influence Eva Smith's life, after Arthur
and Sheila Birling. It was March 1911, and Eva Smith, who Gerald knew
as Daisy Renton, was in the Palace Bar, as was Gerald. He noticed her
not really enjoying herself as "Old Joe Meggarty, half drunk and
goggle-eyed, had wedged her into a corner", so he went over and told
Meggarty a little lie about the manager wanting to see him.

He and Eva left the Palace Bar and went to the County Hotel for a few
drinks and a chat. This is when she told him her name was Daisy, that
she'd lost both her parents, and that she originally came from
somewhere outside of Brumley. Gerald could, "never get any exact
details about her past life". Only two nights later they met up again,
not by accident this time, and this is where he discovers she is
penniless, friendless, and about to be kicked out of her apartment. He
decides to set her up in Morgan Terrace, using rooms that belonged to
a friend of his, Charlie Brunswick, who has left for Canada for six
months. " I insisted on Daisy moving into those rooms and I made her
take some money to keep her going." The only reason he says he did
this was because he, "didn't like the idea of her going back to the
Palace Bar".

At the beginning of Gerald's admittance that he knew the girl who had
died, he carefully admits to the Inspector that he...

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