An Inspector Calls Paper
In this essay I intend to find out who is most to blame for the death of Eva Smith alias Daisy Renton. There are five main characters and each one of them is to blame for Eva Smith’s misfortunes. Firstly we have Mr A. Birling who sacked Eva because she asked for more pay and started a strike. Then there’s Mrs Birling who turned her away from her organisation and refused her any help what so ever. Sheila the daughter of the Birling family became jealous of how pretty Eva was and how she had picked out that day looked much better on her. Her jealousy resulted in Eva losing her job.
Gerald Croft is Sheila’s fiance but in actual fact he actually helped Eva in a way. He made her believe she was worth something, he made her feel happy for a while. Finally we have Eric, Sheila’s brother who met Eva at a bar and became rather friendly towards her, found out he got her pregnant and he stole money to help her, but after she had found out she did not want to know him anymore. The key theme is responsibility and in a way each one of them were responsible for Eva’s death. They don’t realise until tragic circumstances occur.
This is the length it takes for the family to understand how sacred life is and what they have done to destroy two lives, Eva and her unborn child. Mr A. Birling the head of the household knew Eva Smith because she had worked in one of his machine shops for over one year. After their holidays all the workers asked for a pay rise but were refused by Mr Birling as they were already paid the average wage. This refusal ended in a two-week strike started by the workers, but it finally ended, as they needed the money. The five girls responsible were sacked and one of them was of course Eva.
She’d had a lot to say – far too much – so she had to go” I believe that Mr Birling is partly to blame and should feel bad with the way he treated these girls particularly Eva. In today’s society many people would agree with the fact that Mr Birling was right in firing these girls, as he would be in the majority of businessmen who would have made the same decision. We have Gerald Croft whose father owns a big company and I notice how he thinks exactly like Mr Birling. Mr Birling is seen as a pillar of the community he is highly respected and he only expects the best things in life.
He is a very wealthy man as he own his own business, but on the other hand is very selfish and uncaring to other people. “… a man has to make his own way and look after himself. ” This attitude shows in his comments towards the unfortunate circumstances of Eva death. It shows how cold blooded and heartless he is. “still, I can’t accept any responsibility? ” Sheila, who is the daughter of the Birlings, met Eva at the store Milwards where Eva worked as an assistant. Sheila was trying a dress on at the store, but when she noticed the assistants looking at her she believed they were talking about the way she looked.
Then Sheila noticed it actually looked much better and prettier on Eva. You could say that Sheila was jealous, as Eva was young and beautiful. So her jealousy led to her taking action by telling the manager of the store to get rid of Eva, because she was bad for the business. She also threatened to take her custom elsewhere and in the end Eva loses her job. Sheila is partly to blame but there is no excuse for getting somebody sacked for an unreasonable reason. Just as Eva was starting to get her life back together after being sacked from the Birling business, her life is turned upside down.
Sacked twice by two members of the same family, with no money and proper lodgings she felt alone and scared. Sheila has learned a valuable lesson that the actions she took against Eva were wrong, “I behaved badly too. I know I did. I’m ashamed of it. ” Her selfish thoughts ruined a young girls life but now she knows that what her father did was unfair “But these girls aren’t just cheap labour they’re people. ” She is starting to understand the extent that they went, to hurt Eva but reading this I believe from Sheila’s side that it was not intentional.
Gerald Croft met Eva Smith at the Palace bar by mistake as a man was harassing her. As any man would, Gerald came to her rescue and they became friendly and were starting to get to know each other. Eva was a naive, young and very pretty girl and as they got to know each other she started to depend to Gerald. He helped her through the bad times and even found somewhere for her to live, but he did not expect anything from her “I didn’t ask for anything in return”. Gerald wanted Eva as a friend even though they did make love, which may have led Eva to believe they were more than acquaintances.
Although Gerald did not want to hurt Eva he was not in love with her and did not have the same feelings as she did. “She didn’t blame me at all. I wish to God she had now. Perhaps I’d feel better about it”. Looking at the way all the members of the Birling family contributed to Eva Smiths death, Gerald seems to be the only one who actually really gave Eva a chance and made her happy when she was alive. So considering this I think he is the least to blame for her situation. Gerald felt devastated after he found out that Eva committed suicide, he blamed himself.
Unlike Mr Birling who showed no remorse what so ever, but Gerald does remind me of him as Mr Birling owns a business and Gerald is the son of the owner of Croft Ltd, which is the biggest business in the area. They have the same business sense and ideas on how to run a very successful corporation. Eva/Daisy eventually turned to the streets where she ended up begging for money and food. Mrs Birling who is a harsh and very cold woman comes from a more superior social position than her husband. Mrs Birling carries out charitable duties and is also involved in women organisations; this is how she came to meet Eva/Daisy.
After she met Eric and became pregnant she had nowhere to go, Eva/Daisy became desperate and this is when she decided to go to Mrs Birling’s organisation. As soon as Eva/Daisy asked for help Mrs Birling did not like the look of her as she was a working class girl, but another reason why she prejudiced against Eva/Daisy was because she used the Birling name when she was asked details by Mrs Birling. I consider Mrs Birling to be most at fault, at the one time Eva really needed help not just for herself but also for the sake of her unborn child she decides to take it upon herself to refuse her.
This show the audience how small minded, rude and cold hearted she is. I also notice that at the end of her interrogation she blames the unborn child’s father for Eva’s problems this is ironic, as the father is her own son Eric. Learning about this new revelation does not change Mrs Birling attitude towards Eva, throughout the play she acts like nothing has even occurred. Mrs no compassion or remorse, it shows that from the whole experience she has learnt nothing. “I did nothing that I’m ashamed of or that won’t bear investigation”.
Mrs Birling represents the views and att of the middle class audiences, we see her help the poor and needy with any problems they have (i. e. money loans) and give them charity, but does not want anything to do with them. Middle class audiences watching this play would probably disagree with her behaviour towards lower class people and her manner towards others. I think they would be disgusted but then there would also be other people who act just like Mrs Birling who would just enjoy the play. Mrs Birling’s character is very strong, opinionated and does not like to be questioned as we saw with inspector Goole.
What she does not realise is that she was not just involved in the suicide of Eva but the death of her sons child her grand child, even knowing this she can’t accept any responsibility for her death. Eric who is seen as a social young man is said to drink a lot and is described as not sure of himself. This is how he meets Eva Smith/Daisy Renton at the Palace Bar. Eric liked Eva as she was very pretty and in a way I think they are similar, as they are two mixed up people.
After getting to know each other they made love, their relationship was not what you would call normal, as they were not a proper couple. I wasn’t in love with her or anything but I liked her she was pretty and a good sport? ” I think Eric was ashamed of her, as he never told anybody about Eva. Things were going down hill for Eric as he found out that Eva was pregnant with his child, he had no proper job although he’s the heir to the Birling Company. So Eric turned to stealing money from his fathers business and drinking a lot of alcohol this was because he had so much stress put on him. This also affected Eva as he was never around to support her she was alone and dealing with the pregnancy all by herself, and she did not have any money to provide for her and her child.
When Eva/Daisy learned about how Eric was getting the money she was angry and disgusted and told him to leave and never come back to her. Eric learnt that what he did and the way he went about the situation was wrong, when reading the play I saw that Eric was sincerely sorry for what happened to Eva and his child. “It’s what happened to the girl and what we all did to her that matters? ” Then we have the most mysterious character in the play Inspector Goole. As soon as we are introduced to Goole he makes an impression on the audience, Priestly even says that he gives an “impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness”.
When he is investigating each person he has a way of knowing what you are thinking of and he has these piercing eyes that he fixes on you before he speaks. tells them he is here inspecting the suicide of a young woman and investigates; he has supposedly found her diary and a letter, which holds information. After this he has turned the situation of the death on each of the Birlings and has in some way made them confess to their parts in her suicide. When he leaves to make them ponder on what they have done to Eva, they have just realised that they have all implicated themselves.
Gerald returns and believes that the was a fraud and they may have been tricked into giving all that information, when it is finally confirmed that there is no such called Inspector Goole they believe they are off hook. Until Mr Birling receives a call telling him a girl has just died in the infirmary by the name of Eva Smith. The only conclusion I can come to is that Inspector Goole was in fact a ghost, and that he came to warn them what was ahead for them and to show them the outcome of their actions. There was no shown by anyone of them, this could have been prevented.
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