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

In Act Three of 'An Inspector Calls', the inspector says: "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." Who do you think is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Act Three of 'An Inspector Calls', the inspector says: "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." Who do you think is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith? An entrance to a small family celebration in the dining room of a fairly large suburban house in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. On a fine spring evening in 1912, a prosperous manufacturer, Mr. Birling, enthusiastically commemorates the engagement of his daughter, Sheila Birling, to Gerald Croft, the son of Sir George Croft of Crofts Limited. After a "good dinner", marking the start of the occasion, the Birlings: which consist of Mr and Mrs Birling, Sheila Birling and her younger brother Eric Birling, proudly continue on through the evening with a superior atmosphere. This joyful party was rudely interrupted by a harsh figure of a police inspector investigating the suicide of a young working-class woman. The intrusion was about to unlock a chain of events, which led to the death of Eva Smith. Under Inspector Goole's interrogation, every member of the family turns out to have a shameful secret that links them to her death. Their specific actions set over a passage of time casts a preconceived opinion based on their past, not the present. Both individual and collective acts of responsibility entwined their life with that of Eva Smith. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the play, signs of iniquity and the devil come up, for example, the Seven Deadly Sins. At least each member of the family had been corrupted by any one or more if these sins. Therefore, the one making the most errors is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith. Foremost, Mr Birling is full of pride. He was trying to prevent the spiteful Inspector bad-mouthing his family. He also believed that his position in the community would be tarnished and his awaiting knighthood be refused. He wanted to protect his family from the reality of the media. Arthur was also quite slothful as he could not be bothered to fight the rebellion fronted by Eva Smith. He took the easiest route to solve the problem: discharging Eva. His anger and impatience was shown when he replied to the harsh tone of the inspector by saying "Look - there's nothing mysterious about this business!" Mr Birling is very rude and adamant about the fact that he is always right. This is clearly revealed in his speech in Act One where he says that the "Titanic is absolutely unsinkable", this accusation failed when the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, and that the prospect of war is nearly impossible because 1914 saw the start of World War Two. He also tries to show his malevolence and disgust towards the socialists Bernard Shaws and H. ...read more.

Conclusion

death Eva Smith because everything he did was driven by sin and to solve his problems, he dug himself into a deeper hole by allowing the sins to use his body as a vessel to carry out the bad deeds. I also believe that he spends most of his time in a constant state of drunkenness and therefore what he says may not be what he feels or intends to say. After Eric, I think Sheila is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith because she over exaggerates her guilt and all her actions were invigorated by anger or jealousy. Next come Mr and Mrs Birling because they both had reasons apart form sin, to discharge Eva. They wanted to guard the family name and status. Lastly, I think that Gerald Croft is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith, as he tried to make her believe in herself by giving her a job and a home. Therefore, Eric is more guilty that any other Birling family member or Gerald Croft. Overall, it appears to me that Inspector Goole is the devil and the Birlings are his minions. They take place in this world as mortals, to show what the world is becoming. I think that J. B. Priestley has a socialist view on life and he has tried to communicate that message to the public through his play: 'An Inspector Calls.' ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. To what extent can Gerald Croft be held responsible for for the death of ...

    I think J.B. Priestly does this intentionally so that the audience will carry on watching and perhaps feel more relieved once they know the whole story. Ther audience can see the look on Gerald's face and can hear the tone of his voice - by these two senses that Priestly

  2. "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for ...

    A happy, gay atmosphere at the start of the play is quickly turned sour upon the Inspector's arrival. Sheila's celebrations of her proposed marriage are halted when she realises it was her who got Eva sacked from Millward's. She pleads 'because I was in a furious temper' she had the right do speak to the manager and cause Eva's dismissal.

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

    Mr Birling did to Eva Smith what he tries to do to the inspector; he abused his position as her boss and an important member of the community and selfishly fired her to gain profit. The inspector's next target is Sheila Birling.

  2. Who is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith?

    The first character who contributed to the death of Eva Smith was Mr Birling. Mr Birling indulged into Eva Smith's life. He, I believe was the one who "kicked off" this disastrous event. Arthur Birling is a self-made man who has built Birling And Company into a successful local business.

  1. To what extent was each character responsible for Eva's death? (Inspector Calls)

    'Whoever that chap was, the fact remains that I still did what I did.' All in all Eric has grown morally and will think before acting in the future. He realises he is part of a community and everything he does, reflects on others.

  2. An Inspector calls - blame for the death of Eva Smith.

    this is the only way that he can hope to re-start the engagement with Sheila. This is shown in his systematic destruction of the Inspector's story, in which he is constantly prompting Birling to cast doubt on each part of the tale.

  1. ‘We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for ...

    This could be because of their conflicting views of society. P9 'A man has to make his own way - has to look after himself.' Sheila Sheila is a dramatic, important character in the play and like the inspector keeps the action of the play going, like when she starts resembling the inspector to Gerald P25 'Oh, don't be stupid.

  2. Who, in your opinion, is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith?

    This point is very significant and is the basis of the entire play, to grasp it is imperative to the understanding of the play, without this, an analysis of who is responsible would be far more difficult. Arthur Birling is a self-made man who has built Birling And Company into a successful local business.

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