What is the significance of the different types of power in An Inspector Calls?

In An Inspector Calls, the significance of the different types of power is that they work together to consolidate upper-class supremacy and keep the poor oppressed. These types of power include the financial, the moral, and the marital.

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The various forms of power on display in An Inspector Calls all have the same purpose: to keep the poor and downtrodden in a state of subjection.

Whether it's economic power, moral power, or the power that comes from high social status, all of them are brought to bear upon Eva Smith, a vulnerable working-class girl whose tragic suicide is directly linked to her shabby treatment by the Birlings.

To the Birlings, Eva Smith was nothing, less than nothing in fact. As far as they were concerned, she was a potential source of scandal and nothing more. So long as she was around, so long as she remained in Gerald's life, she represented a real and present threat to their moral power, to their standing in the community.

So the Birlings used her—by employing her and paying her a pittance—and abused her, showing her the door when she became too much of an embarrassment, discarding her like a used handkerchief. In doing so, the Birlings exerted their economic power, demonstrating the whip hand that...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 821 words.)

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