Back to: An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley
Table of Contents
He is the protagonist of the story. He is the moral compass of the text who calls all the culprits to task for their crimes. He is strong in his speech and directs in his approach.
He talks separately to each member of the family and coerces them to confess to their respective fault. In the end, he gives a rising speech to the guests asking them to help others in need rather than gloat in their wealth and pomp.
He is the man of the house and very protective about family name and honour. He is selfish and does not want to help other people. He has strong hatred toward socialists and poor people.
He also likes to toot his own horn as exemplified by his loud declaration of his impending knighthood. He shows a severe lack of empathy for Eva even after knowing about her death. He is quick to blame others for any bad occurrence like his own son Eric.
Eva Smith/Daisy Renton
She is the elusive victim in the story. She may the same woman or three different women. She is abused by Arthur for asking her labour rights and Sheila for being honest in her opinion.
She is used physically by Gerald and Eric, getting pregnant by Eric in the end. However, the worst of her setbacks come from another woman Sybil.
When at her most desperate stage, she goes to Sybil’s charity for aid; Sybil mistreats her and turns her out empty-handed.
She is the wife of Arthur Birling and as callous and selfish as him. She turns down Daisy’s appeal for help and even lies about her meeting with her.
She worries about the reputation and honour of her family even if it means devaluing another person’s life or death. She is disapproving of her children, Sheila and Eric for their irresponsible and reckless attitude.
She is sympathetic and forgiving. She accepts Gerald dalliance and offers him a second chance. She is also sympathetic to Eva who she considers a victim of her family’s disregard and selfish arrogance.
She is strong in her opinions and is able to speak against hate and impudence of her parents. She is not materialistic and values human life and aspirations over materialistic greed.
Eric is a conflicted personality. He feels sorry for his treatment of Eva and tries to help her. However, he decides to steal money from his own father to do so.
He is also an alcoholic and his guilt only worsens his condition. He is destroyed on hearing about Eva’s suicide and takes it the hardest out of all the characters.
He is the fiancé of Sheila. He is an empathic man who confesses to his affair with Daisy Renton. He is also helpful as shown by his treatment of Daisy when she is attacked by another man.
He takes responsibility for his actions and is determined to work with Sheila on their relationship. He is also strong in his views as he goes against his family’s rejection of Sheila’s family.