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Discus who was responsible for the death of Eva Smith in the play 'An Inspector Calls'.

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Discus who was responsible for the death of Eva Smith in the play 'An Inspector Calls' This essay will discus who was responsible for the death of Eva Smith in the play 'An Inspector Calls' I will do this by looking at the characters of Arthur Birling, Sheila Birling, Eric Birling, Sybil Birling and Gerald Croft and I will discus the socialist and capitalist views on society at the time the play was written. 'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1945 by J.B.Priestley, just after World War II. Around this time there was a raised sense of community in Britain because a lot of people thought that the right wing society the country had before the war had caused the war to break out. Before the war the rich has not cared about the working classes and this had serious consequences. The working classes started to rise up; this caused the Russian and French revolutions, the rise of Hitler in 1933 and the devastation of the UK's economy in 1945. The rich also created the British Empire, which the Germans were jealous of. After the wars people thought that if they took better care of the working classes then they would not rise up like they had done elsewhere. ...read more.


He doesn't seem to understand anything other than money, he even goes as far as to say that there 'isn't a chance of war' and that the Germans 'don't want war' which of course they did. Arthur Birling then went on to call Britain a 'free country' when it was only free for the upper classes like him. It was not a free country for the working classes like Eva Smith, whose lives and future he controlled. This again shows that Arthur Birling has no idea about the working classes or anything that didn't involve money. Sheila Birling is one of the younger generations in the Birling family. She knew Eva Smith as Daisy Renton (she was using a fake name) when she worked in Milwards, a luxury clothes shop. Sheila admits that her jealousy made her angry and made her use her power to blackmail the manager into firing Eva. She used the type of blind rage that destroys lives. She didn't think about her actions, she just tried her hardest to hurt Eva in some way. She showed some remorse for her action: after she found out about Eva's death, she claims that she didn't mean to do that much harm. ...read more.


Priestley highlights the dangers of the selfish acts in the Inspector's last speech, although one Eva had gone there were, 'millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and their chances of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, with what we say and what we do. We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other and I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then we will be taught it in fire, blood and anguish.' Soon after the inspector leaves they discover that he is not really who he claimed to be. When they discover this the older generations once again think that they have escaped their responsibilities. The younger generations is still thinking what if though. They realise that even though it wasn't tragic this time it could be next time. They have learnt their lesson unlike the older generations. Soon after the phone rings and they discover that Eva did after all commit suicide. This is Priestley's way of showing that no one can escape his or her responsibilities. An Inspector Calls ...read more.

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