Characters in An Inspector Calls

  • Created by: Nobis
  • Created on: 10-01-19 16:40

Arthur Birling

Arthur Birling is a succesful and respected self made businessman in the industrial town of Brumley. He owns a factory making cloths. Though he is from a poorer background he is still able to appear rather snobbish as he constantly says that you have to look after yours and only yours. He has no conscience of his social responsibility as an upper class man to at least make some considerations for those less well off. It is this that leads to a workers strike over pay.

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Mrs Birling

Mr Birlings wife. Unlike her husband she is not from a poorer background and is obsessed with etiquette and status in society. It is this that makes her appear rather prudent and unlikeable as a human being. She also appears rather silly as she has deluded herself into believing that Eric and Sheila are model children and she does not appear to be able to put 2 and 2 together when the evidence that Eric has fathered Daisy/Evas child is presented to her. 

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Eric Birling

Eric Birling is Mr and Mrs Birlings son. He has a huge problem with drinking. He also seems to struggle with his father as when he speaks he is almost immediately contradicted or shot down by his father. This is perhaps why he feels the urge to escape from his mother and fathers oppressive obsession with class and go drinking whilst mingling with prostitutes. When he impregnates Eva/Daisy he tries to do the honorable thing and give her money to help with the pregnancy. Even though it does mean he has to steal from his father.

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Sheila Birling

Sheila Birling is a young girl in her early 20s who is engaed to Gerald Croft. She is shown to be rather shallow throughout the beginning of the play as she seems to be more concerned about her appearance and Gerald than anything else. She also has no knowledge of her social responsibility as when Eva/Daisy seems to smile behind her back whilst she is trying on a dress she dislikes, she orders her to be sacked under threat the Birling account will be closed.

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Gerald Croft

Gerald Croft is an upper-class businessman in his thirties. He comes from a wealthy family that owns a business, just like Mr Birling. He, like Mr and Mrs Birling appears to have no conscience on what he has done. After the inspector is thought to be a hoax he celebrates the news with them, thinking that his abuse of the young woman he kept as a mistress would never be revealed. 

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The Inspector

The Inspector appears to be a rather mysterious figure who claims to be an official police inspector. He is rather assertive with the Birlings, something that they are clearly not used to as Mrs Birling appears to reel in shock at the way he is manhandling the enquiry. He also appears to understand the social responsibility that the Upper Classes have. He also shows that he may not be an ordinary inspector when when he makes a prophetic statement about the beginning of WW1 by saying that if mankind does not learn to look after one another it will be taught such a lesson in blood and tears

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Eva Smith/Daisy Renton

Eva/Daisy is the subject of all thiose around the tables abuses. She has been beaten down and stepped on so many times by the Birlings that she was driven to take her own life. She never actually appears on stage. She may be a combination of different girls or she may not even be dead at all.

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