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Examine the characters of the Birlings and Gerald

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Introduction

Examine the characters of the Birlings and Gerald Croft. How do they respond to the Inspector's revelations and who is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith? An Inspector Calls is what is known as a well constructed play. Its progression is that of ignorance to knowledge. The characters are the Birling family, Gerald Croft and of course the formidable Inspector Goole. All the characters start off in a lulled sense of security. Sheila begins very pleased with her life and with her fianc� Gerald Croft, as one might who is getting married. Gerald is introduced as the well-bred upper-class man about town. Eric, Sheila's brother starts off shy and progresses through the play, as does Sheila. Meanwhile Mr and Mrs Birling are self-centred upper class adults who look down on anyone below them, even their own children. The entrance of the inspector shatters the whole family's security and confidence as he tells them a girl called Eva Smith has died in the Infirmary after drinking disinfectant, consequently burning out her insides. The cracks in the Birling family ship begin to show. All of this is represented by the Titanic as people considered the boat to be unsinkable and yet it proved them wrong and sunk, the Birling family think themselves unsinkable and yet their boat eventually sinks too. ...read more.

Middle

The investigation of Gerald ends when he says he has not seen Daisy since the first week of September. In my opinion of all the family, Gerald did the least harm to Daisy. He was the only one who made her happy and though his prejudices and ideas are like all the Birling family, he also has the heart of the younger generation, and did keep care for Daisy until the end of their affair. Gerald then asks to be excused and is just about to leave when Sheila gives him the engagement ring back with the words, "You and I are not the same people who sat down to dinner here tonight, we need to start all over again." Mrs Birling has a look at the picture of Daisy/Eva next and because of her foolish pride and illogical morals pretends not to recognise the picture. It is Sheila who first realises she is lying. Sheila is the one who hands her over to the Inspector and this is her second major accomplishment as the Inspector's junior. In my opinion Sheila has every reason to do what she is undertaking but is going over the top by doing a job for which she is not qualified. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eric, who used the feeble excuse that he was drunk, but his behaviour and actions were as bad as the actions of Sheila. Mr and Mrs Birling also come under severe criticism with their cold hearted attempts to sabotage Eva's life. Even though they both had their own reasons it was still an atrocious thing to do. Eric and Sheila, characters representing the younger generation learnt from this tragic episode and finally realised that their actions do have consequences, and progressed and matured by the end of the play. In my opinion, Gerald also learnt to be more humble and considerate, and clearly demonstrates his sorrow at the tragic death of Eva - he is also a member of the younger generation of the Birling family, although obviously one episode is not going to wipe out years of indoctrination by the Birling family! Mr and Mrs Birling do not change at all and have obviously learnt nothing from the death of Eva. They are the same cold-hearted people as previously. The Birlings and Gerald Croft are examples of the unscrupulous people in the world who exist the. Play highlights that you never know who is aware of your wrong doings and actions. - 1 - Roseanna Lewis ...read more.

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