An Inspector

Topics: An Inspector Calls, J. B. Priestley, Time and the Conways Pages: 2 (560 words) Published: January 1, 2013
In this question I have been asked to explore how j.b. Priestley presents sympathy for Eva Smith in ‘’An Inspector Calls’’ In "An Inspector Calls", J.B. Priestley uses the characters and attitudes of the Birling family, especially Mr. Birling, to make the audience feel sympathy for Eva Smith. The family is "prosperous" and "comfortable", and Mr. Birling's extensive posturing and blagging emphasizes their good fortune. In the opening lines of the play, he is found to be drinking and discussing port with Gerald, immediately giving the audience a sense of the family's financial state, which also reveals their position in society. When Mr. Birling tells Gerald and Eric that a man should "look after his own", and not listen to the "cranks" who talk about "community and all that nonsense", it becomes obvious that he has no interest in the people whom may have come from a socialist background, just like Eva Smith. By making Mr. Birling so arrogant and pompous, JB Priestley renders his character deeply unattractive and encourages the reader to take pity on Eva smith.

The entry of the Inspector causes a dramatic shift in the play's atmosphere, drawing attention to his shocking news. He almost immediately announces that Eva Smith has "died in the infirmary" after swallowing "strong disinfectant" that "burnt her inside out". This language provides a striking contrast to the family's previous conversation and intensifies the importance of the situation, where things were implied, but never directly stated. The Inspector does not use euphemism to shield the family from the unpleasant images, but says that Eva died in "great agony". Especially in juxtaposition with the comfortable atmosphere and obvious wealth displayed earlier in the play, the Inspector's vivid description of Eva Smith's suffering captures the attention and pity of the audience.

The inspector debriefs Mr.birling in particular, of his relationship with Eva. However Mr.birling’s uncooperative response...
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