Critical Evaluation of a Literary Text "An Inspector Calls" by J.B Priestly

Essay by xoxamarxox September 2004

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Task: To what to extent do you agree with the view that Eva Smith/Daisy Renton was entirely to blame for the situation she found herself in and for her suicide?

"An Inspector Calls" by J.B Priestly is a play which I thoroughly enjoyed. The play is about a family in 1912 who are enjoying a nice evening to celebrate the engagement of their daughter Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft. Things are going well until they receive an unexpected visitor, Inspector Goole whom brings bad news about a girl who committed suicide by drinking a lot of strong disinfectant. Her name was Eva Smith. As the play goes on we find out that each member of the Birling family and Gerald Croft had known this girl and had played apart in her death. I don't think that Eva Smith was to blame entirely for her death, we are all responsible for each others actions.

Eva Smith's death wasn't all her fault. Mr Birling and Sheila played apart in Eva's death. Mr Birling fired Eva from his factory because she was one of the ringleaders of the strike at his factory and was also one of the reasons her co-workers went on strike for more money, Mr Birling thought e was clever.

"well we let them come back at the old rates

except for the 4 or 5 ringleaders who started

the trouble. I went down myself to clear them

all out."

The good word choice " we let them all come back at the old rates" shows me that Mr Birling thought he would be clever by letting all of the workers back except for the ringleaders who had caused the strike.

Sheila got Eva Smith fired from Milwards, which is a big store which sells expensive clothes. She did this...