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An Inspector Calls: Do you think Mrs Birling is more to blame for the death than the other characters?

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Introduction

Do you think that Mrs Birling is more to blame for the death of Eva Smith than the other characters? Give reasons for your answer. Answer: Priestley uses the Birling family to demonstrate to the audience of his play the possible consequences to their actions. Mrs Birling refused to give support to Eva Smith when she appealed to the charity for help. Mrs Birling claims ?I was perfectly justified in advising my committee not to allow her claim for assistance?. This illustrates her ?rather cold? and selfish personality. She was unwilling to help the girl because of her working class status. She blames ?the young man who was the father of the child?. The playwright is suggesting that wealthier people such as the Birling?s feel responsibility for only themselves; this is reminiscent of capitalist views. ...read more.

Middle

It is reveals that she ?had her turned out of a job?. This suggests that she, unlike her parents, is willing to accept some responsibility for the girl?s death. Priestley has shown different morals between the younger and older generation of this family. Mr and Mrs Birling, alongside Gerald, are quick to accept the idea of a trick, which reduces the seriousness of the admissions they have made. Contrastingly, Shelia and Eric feel guilty for their actions; the Inspectors final monologue left a lasting impression on them both, perhaps making them more mature. The young generation realise that they will suffer ?in fire and blood and anguish? for what they have done. However, their parents are left ?trying not to face the facts?. ...read more.

Conclusion

He articulates ?it?s what we all did to her that matters?. This demonstrates his growing maturity, it appears that he has become a more moral person as a result of the events that have transpired. In my opinion, the Birling family and Gerald Croft share an equal amount of responsibility for Eva Smith?s death. As the Inspectors phrases it; ?a chain of events?, ending in a tragic suicide of an innocent girl. Priestley is trying to put a moral message across to his audience; we a responsible for all the ?Eva Smiths? and ?John Smiths? out there. He claims that if we do not accept this, we will suffer ?in fire and blood and anguish?. This could be a reference to World War One, which transpired shortly after this play was set. To conclude, the family were all equally guilty of a moral crime, and from writing this play Priestley aims to prevent us repeating their mistake. ...read more.

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