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An inspector calls by J.B. Priestly - Who killed Eva Smith?

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Becky Gallagher English Coursework An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestly Who killed Eva Smith? There are many different factors involved with the death of Eva Smith that should be considered while asking the question whom ultimately killed Eva Smith. Each one of the Birling family (including Gerald Croft) pushed Eva Smith that extra bit closer to killing herself, but no one person was individually responsible for her death. Whether one person was more to blame than any other it is hard to say. Although these people contributed to her unfortunate end to life, her position in life and society are also greatly to blame. It is Mr. Arthur Birling who starts off the train of events, as he is the first to come in to contact with Eva Smith. Mr. Birling sacked Eva Smith from his factory after she and a few others went on strike, demanding higher wages. As Mr. Birling said to the inspector, 'She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go'. I don't see that he did anything wrong, anyone in his position would have done the same. And as he says, it's his duty 'to keep labour costs down'. He's a 'hardheaded businessman', as he calls himself, he'd do anything to make as much profit as possible. ...read more.


Gerald implied this through saying 'I didn't feel about her as she felt about me.' Eva/Daisy must have been very content during this period that she was with Gerald; she told Gerald that she'd been happier than she'd ever been before. But she wasn't naive enough to expect it to last, she knew that this brief period of bliss would soon come to an end. Gerald was fairly honest admitting their affair straight away, sparing few details. But on the other hand it's hard to know whether he's telling the truth or whether he's behaving caring and loving to come across as well as he possibly can. Gerald seems to be a narrow-minded, old-fashion type of man, very alike Arthur Birling and his wife Sybil. Gerald would never have married Eva as she was of a lower class. In a way he simply used this young, lonely girl for his own needs, although he denies this saying 'I want you to understand that I didn't install her there to make love to her.' He disposes of her as soon as the time comes and he no longer desires her, he uses her just like an object. Gerald, along with Sheila does show signs of guilt, perhaps because he knew her on a personal note, rather than her being a complete stranger. ...read more.


After hearing the facts on everybody else, the question must be asked, could Eva herself, have prevented ending up in these awkward positions time and time again. She could have controlled her own fate. Maybe if she hadn't caused trouble at Mr. Birlings factory, became Gerald's mistress, slept with Eric or used the Birling family name whilst applying to the organization, she wouldn't have felt like ending her life, and she wouldn't be lying on a slab with her insides burnt out. After all, she was the person who decided to kill herself, she could have tried for another job, she could have accepted the money from Eric and she could have made him responsible for the baby, when it came. In conclusion, it would be unfair to put the blame onto one person, when each and every one of them helped contribute to Evas' miserable end to life. It may be more accurate to blame society, her class, and the time in which she lived. No real crime has been committed in this play, but I believe that the Birling family should share the moral responsibility for this young woman's pitiful suicide. Then maybe next time they are about to do something selfish they'll think of the devestation they might bring to others, and not just the benefit they bring to themselves. ...read more.

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