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An Inspector Calls - Consider how the inspector makes the characters accept responsibility for their behaviour towards Eva Smith.

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Introduction

An Inspector Calls Consider how the inspector makes the characters accept responsibility for their behaviour towards Eva Smith. Although each member of the Birling family and Gerald Croft have had contact with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton during the previous two years, none of them is aware of the others� involvement in the tragedy until the day of the Inspector's visit. He makes them aware of the part they have played in her tragic end. The characters each react differently to the news and to the degree of responsibility which they should bear, Therefore I think the Inspector Call has caused the character to think about their actions towards Eva Smith. ERIC Eric is a young man, a bit of mess. His behaviour before the Inspector arrives is described as thoughtless, careless and immature. He has no personality, this is evident on page 2 "not quite as ease, half shy, half assertive". Her sister, Sheila, soon describes him as "squiffy" on page 3 which demonstrates he tends to drink a bit too much. But he shows he has a certain respect when he is speaking with his father, this is illustrated on page 4 "not too rudely". Despite his carelessness, after the Inspector arrives, Eric shows involuntary sympathy for Eva Smith when he learn about her death and how Mr Birling had lay her off. This is manifested on page 11 "(involuntarily) My God !"This tells me he is sorrowful for her. When Eric has to admit how he behaved towards Eva Smith/Daisy Renton, he has a stronger sense of guilt, but that does not excuse his behaviour because the consequences are much worse. ...read more.

Middle

She seems genuine when she says on page 24, "It is the only time I have ever done anything like that, and I will never, never do it again to anybody". Contradictorily to her father, Sheila felt extremely guilty for having Eva dismissed. As she says on page 23"I felt rotten about it at the time and now I feel a whole lot worse". Eva's second dismissal left Sheila in a worse state than her first dismissal and she became despondent. Sheila has been the cause of this further deterioration but we feel less inclined to blame her because of her great remorse. But we can see that her sorrow is also linked to her feeling of regret that she will not be able to go back to her favourite shop, and so her streak of selfishness is still there, this is illustrated on page 25 "I've noticed them giving me a sort of look sometimes at Milwards - I noticed it even this afternoon - and I suppose some of them remember. I feel now I can never go there again." She sincerely regrets, and is very ashamed of her behaviour. Sheila realises that truth and honesty really matter. This is apparent on page 29 "It's simply my fault that in the end she - she committed suicide." This tells me that similarly to Eric, she is honest enough to admit her share of the responsibility for Eva's suicide. She is sorrowful about what happened and shows more sympathy as the play goes on.This demonstrates that she is capable of changing and maturity. However, towards the end of the scene it becomes obvious to the audience that Sheila is suspicious of the Inspector. ...read more.

Conclusion

This will signify that she is no longer awestruck as to his capabilities but knows that his way is the only way forward. The Inspector successfully makes Sheila and Eric take their responsibility for their actions. Both of them entirely admit their mistakes and regret it afterwards, they also learn a lesson, change and grown up enough to be recognize as responsible person to the eyes of the society. The Inspector is the catalyst for the events of the play: without him, none of the characters' secrets would ever have come into the open, for a variety of reasons. For Mr Birling could not see that he did anything memorable or wrong in sacking a troublemaker; Sheila thought her rather spiteful jealousy of a pretty shop-assistant was not "anything very terrible at the time" (p.24); Gerald needed to conceal his involvement with the girl from a jealous fianc�e; Mrs Birling is too cold ever to "have known what [the girl] was feeling" (p.45) and her effect seems lost on her; and Eric had resorted to theft, which he too needed to conceal. Without the Inspector's 'purposefulness', each character could not or would not have acknowledged their behaviour. In conclusion I think that the Inspector is as real as every one else in the play but I think that he represents truth and justice and is a form of angel or something along those lines. While reading this play I enjoyed it immensely and I am very glad that I have read it. This play is more than just a detective thriller and you really have to look closely at it before you can fully understand it. I am sure that there will always be a sense of mystery about this play; who was the inspector? What was the Inspector? Will we ever know? ...read more.

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