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An Inspector Calls

J. B. Priestley

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Eva Smith/Daisy Renton

Eva Smith/Daisy Renton

Eva Smith/Daisy Renton

Eva Smith/Daisy Renton

A character who does not appear onstage in the play, but who is the absent figure around which the action spins. She is referred to as Eva Smith, Daisy Renton, and “Mrs. Birling.” She may be a combination of these young women, or a different person, or a fiction. Whether she is real or not, Eva/Daisy is a stand-in for the girls that Arthur, Sybil, Sheila, Eric, and Gerald have wronged, either separately or together. Eva/Daisy worked for a low wage, and Arthur fired her for attempting a strike. Sheila had her fired for impertinence. Eric and Gerald both had affairs with her, and though Gerald cared for her, Eric’s relationship to her was more vexed, and required him to steal money for her. If Eva/Daisy is a real person, as the last phone call suggests, then the family’s guilt might really knot them together. But if she is not one person, and rather a set of people, this makes her no less substantial as an organizational principle for the work. Priestley demonstrates how selfish, or economically motivated, or jealous behavior can ruin people’s lives. Eva/Daisy is the lesson each character must learn individually.

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Incorrect Questions

by MrRetno, May 25, 2017

Question 20: Arthur calls the Hospital, but receives a call from the police.
Question 25: Guilt is most definitely a theme in the play; business loans are not.

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4 out of 7 people found this helpful

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by LeonMcMillen, July 31, 2017

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mistake

by qwerty1234lol, October 27, 2017

you missed out Sybil birling even though she is an important character
here is some stuff

Mrs Birling is being very arrogant, it is clear that she thinks that she is right "Secondly, I blame the young man" shows that she also has a very ignorant point of view. She brings class into her argument, suggesting that because 'he didn’t belong to her class' then 'that's all the more reason why he shouldn't escape'. Here she suggests that just because the boy might be from a higher class than the pregnant Eva Smith, then the pregnancy... Read more

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10 out of 10 people found this helpful