• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    "An Inspector Calls" is a very good play, and covers a variety of aspects on politics. Priestley wrote this play to convey his own attitudes and opinions to the world, he does this very well, and he shows demonstrations and examples on how to, and not to behave.

  2. An Inspector Calls - Who is responsible for the death of Eva Smith?

    The final target of inquiry by the inspector is Eric Birling. This young and silly son of the Birlings is quite a heavy drinker as his parents find out in the play and it is this trait which gets him involved with Eva Smith.

  1. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    Inspector: (with calm authority) 'I'll tell you. She went to your mother's committee for help, after she'd done with you. Your mother refused that help. Eric: (nearly at breaking point) 'Then-you killed her. She came to you to protect me- and you turned her away-yes, and you killed her-and the child she'd have had too-my child-your own

  2. Who (or what) do you think is to blame for the death of Eva ...

    Birling joke of the police and that he is up to something, "Here, what do you mean?" The audience will see that from the start something isn't right, and his actions at the beginning of the play are soon explained.

  1. 'An Inspector Calls' Consider the role of the inspector and the effect he has ...

    However when the Titanic met the iceberg, it sank. The Birlings' iceberg would be Eva Smith and the Inspector. This clearly shows his blind faith in the future and his complacency in his family. This is an early glimpse of how wrong Mr. Birling can be. Just prior to the Inspector's dramatic arrival Birling relays another of his philosophies,

  2. How Far Does "An Inspector Calls" Fit Into the Genre of Detective Fiction?

    Unlike Mr. Birling, Sheila is deeply flustered by her actions, and accepts full responsibility, therefore learning her lesson. At this moment the audience still believe that this is detective fiction, because of another cross-examination. The next person in the inspectors list of suspects is Gerald Croft, fianc� of Sheila Birling.

  1. In my essay I am going to look at how much moral responsibility the ...

    as she couldn't live in a house or couldn't take care of her children. So the only way lower classes could get money was by becoming upper classes slaves or prostitutes but that wasn't a pleasure job. People like the Birling family were from the upper class and treated people from the lower class differently.

  2. Explain how Priestly manages to create a very vivid picture of the character of ...

    He then asks Mr Birling straight away if he knew the girl, "her real name-was Eva Smith", he shows Mr Birling a photograph to remind him. This is rather odd because he won't let the others see it, "It's the way I like to go to work.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work