• Self centred: ‘A man has to make his own way.’
• Obsessed with status.
• ‘Hard-headed practical man of business.’
• Has a high opinion of himself, Takes himself and family name seriously.
• Stands for tradition and authority.
• Irritable and impatient.
- At the start of the play Arthur is in control- in charge of everything, even the port.
- As the play continues he slowly loses his power.
- This starts when he cannot get the Inspector to respect him for his status- refuses the port, is not interested in golf or in Arthur’s career history.
- He enters into a battle of wills against the Inspector and loses.
- Arthur has a shallow response to a deep issue-focus is on his name not being ruined. Does notlearn from his experience.
- Act One- Perfect daughter:‘very pleased with life andrather excited.’
- Spoilt, emotional, excitable.
- Vain and jealous = Eva fired.
- Moral, honest, accepts responsibility- has a conscience.
- Different from the rest of her family ‘between us we killed her’.
- Changes because of the Inspector- hands the ring back.
- Becomes the Inspector- questions Gerald, forces him to tell the truth.
- Similar to the Inspector, has knowledge/ suspicions which she keeps to herself- where Gerald was last summer.
- Shows herself to be wise and not naïve, challenges her parents’ expectations and knowledge of her.
- Throughout the play we watch her change from a child into an adult.
- Appears genuinely remorseful and has learnt a lesson: ‘between us we killed her.’
- Has a good future, is a good match for Sheila.
- Tries to make himself out to be a victim of circumstance.
- Insensitive, emotionally shallow and does not learn anything-similar to the parents.
- Is on Arthur’s side- a younger generation version of Arthur.
- Takes action against Inspector Goole, asks the passing police- man.
- The Inspector is not as hard on Gerald as he is on the others-Gerald ‘had some affection for her and made her happy for a time.’
- Daisy/ Eva did not blame him- ‘She didn’t blame me at all’ – allows the audience to feel the same?
- It’s unclear why Gerald broke off his fling with Daisy friend returning from Canada after 6 months? Bored?
- Similar to Arthur and Sybil-does not learn anything,expects to return back to normal- hands the ring back to Sheila.
- Snob- lower classes are inferior.
- Successful wife- loyal to Arthur.
- Failure as a mother- does not know her children.
- Obsessed with etiquette.
- Negative, stubborn and cold- hearted- has to be persuaded to drink port to toast Shelia.
- Shows no remorse: ‘I did nothing I’m ashamed of.’
- Uncooperative with the Inspector- sees him as ‘rude' and ‘impertinent’-he has interrupted a social occasion which she was managing.
- She is easily trapped by the Inspector- plays on her obsession with rules and standards.
- At the end of the play she is left unchanged, she only regrets not being able to ask the Inspector ‘a few questions.’
- She has not listened and she has not learnt.
- Ambiguous character from the start- ‘not quite at ease’, ‘half shy.’
- Guilty secrets- drinking, pregnant,stolen money.
- No one really knows him/ helps him/ loves him- father calls him ‘boy’, mother is ashamed of him,Sheila pities him, even Daisy treated him as a ‘kid’.
- Puts family reputation at stake.
- Is both villain and victim in the play-does not seem to have any friends, is isolated and unsupported.
- Is the product of a narrow-minded, middle class family.
- Gains the audience’s sympathy because he recognises his mistakes and takes responsibility for them. ‘You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely.’
- Asserts himself: ‘You don’t understand anything. You never did. You never even tried.’
- Parents care more about there not being a scandal than about Eric.
Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton
- Did she exist? Were they the same person?
- All her jobs were taken from her.
- Is a portrait of an ordinary, working class girl- ‘Smith’, common name.
- Pretty- looks were her downfall, they got her noticed.
- Has feelings and morals, these also get her noticed- Suicide, the ultimate sacrifice to her feelings?
- Never seeks revenge- most moral of all characters.
- The Inspector inflicts pain on the villains of her story for her- why he has been seen to be the spirit/ ghost of her child.
- Inspector forces them to share the responsibility and guilt for her death.
- Unanswered questions surround her- Was she real? was she the same girl? Did she die at the start of the play, or is she the dead girl at the end of the play?
- Controls the rate at which the revelations come out.
- Creates an atmosphere of uncertainty-plays a power game which causes chaos.
- Does not conform, exists outside of class boundaries. Behaves as though he is from a different world- no etiquette or taboo subjects.
- Treats everyone the same- does not use class terms, calls Eva the ‘young woman.’
- ‘Calls’ describes the Inspector’s visit- inaccurate,not casual or spontaneous, but single minded and calculating.
- Passes judgement and reveals crimes- is both the judge and the police.
- Uses language cleverly- answers his own questions/repeats a question if he does not like the answer.
- Persistent- questions and then asks follow up questions.
- Uses emotive language- Eva died in ‘misery and agony’ ‘burnt- out inside on a slab.’
- Is an Inspector, philosopher and a social commentator.