Some people possess more authority. Although having authority can make life easier and more enjoyable, it is also easy to abuse. In JB Pettiley’s An inspector Call, three characters abuse authority to harm a less powerful character. Eric abuses both his physical and economic power. Sybil also abuses Eva Smith’s social connections.
Firstly, there is no doubt that Eric abuses Eva Smith’s physical power. Eric doesn’t like Eva at all, but he is with Eva because he wants to. He treats Eva like a sexual object, not a human being. He is drunk and forces himself on Eva. Eric’s mistake is caused by his excessive alcohol consumption, which makes him lose control of himself. Eric uses his physical strength to make Eva pregnant. Secondly, Arthur uses his economic power against Eva. Arthur is a wealthy man, but he doesn’t want to give back to the hard-working people in his factory. He refuses to give them three shillings more when they request it: I refused. I refused to consider the request. We paid the normal rates and they could work anywhere else. They were told that the country was free. Arthur, who is 12 years old, cannot be bothered with anything other than money. So he refuses Eva’s request for an extra three shillings. Instead, he fires Eva, despite her being a hardworking employee. Arthur is an egotistical capitalist that believes he doesn’t have a responsibility to assist anyone. When he fires Eva, he doesn’t consider her situation. Eva’s financial ruination is the result of Arthurs abuse towards her.
Sybil also abuses Eva’s social connections. Sybil’s character is the one who makes Eva commit suicide after she refuses to help Eva with her last plea: “I don’t like Evas way.” She had inadvertently referred to our name. Later, she pretended that she just thought of it. She has strong social connections and can use them to destroy or torture someone weak like Eva. As a woman living on the streets, Eva is desperate for any help.
Eva explains to Sybil her dire situation, but Sybil is not convinced. Sybil will not help Eva simply because Evas style and the way Eva introduces herself to Sybil are not appealing to her. Sybil should be helping anyone who seeks help as she works for a charity. But, Eva is rejected without apparent cause. Sybil cannot reject Eva’s help request because she is offended by her manner. Sybil is more concerned about saving her family’s name than someone else’s life. Eva’s life is ruined by the rejection of the charity. Sybil plays an important role in Evas death. She shares this responsibility with the other characters.
People who abuse their authority can harm others. Eva Smith is the victim of this play. She gets physically abused and fired, as well as rejected from a charitable organization. Eric, Arthur, Sybil and other characters have the option to help, or not help, a less powerful character. Millions of people around the world suffer from poverty, fear and hunger. What will happen if we refuse to help them? It is not the responsibility of anyone to help another person, but many people do it even when they aren’t required to.