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Read again the extract from near the beginning of Act 3.‘But just remember this...We are responsible for each other.’Do you think any of the characters in the play acted responsibly?

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An Inspector Calls Read again the extract from near the beginning of Act 3. 'But just remember this...We are responsible for each other.' Do you think any of the characters in the play acted responsibly? In the play 'An Inspector Calls', the Birling family and Gerald Croft are taught a lesson by the Inspector about responsibility and looking after each other. When Mr Birling fired Eva Smith he was, in his opinion, acting in the interest of his business. However, there could be more to it than that. He says, 'She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go.' He fired Eva because he believed she was too confident and spoke out about what she believed in, which was likely to cause trouble for his business. In his opinion, girls of that class should not be allowed to do this - they were there to be ordered about and to do exactly what he said. Surely firing Eva Smith because of this is being irresponsible? Throughout the play, Birling never takes responsibility for her death. 'Still, I can't accept any responsibility.' After the Inspector has gone, he is only interested in covering up his actions and he does not care about what he has done to an innocent girl. ...read more.


He is certainly not setting a good example by being unfaithful. During the play he says, 'We're respectable citizens and not criminals.' Gerald still keeps up the pretence that he is 'respectable', even when he is being anything but this. Like Mr Birling, he is more concerned about covering up his actions after the Inspector has gone and he does not really show any further regret about the death of Eva Smith. Throughout the play he shows himself to be an easy liar. 'So - for God's sake - don't say anything to the Inspector.' The fact that a man of Gerald's age uses lying as a way to get out of predicaments shows how immature and irresponsible he really is. Mrs Birling is described in the stage directions as being 'a rather cold woman'. This is certainly true as we see throughout the play. She turned down Eva Smith because she considered her to be 'impertinent'. Mrs Birling's crime was quite similar in its pettiness to Sheila's. Being a prominent member of a charity committee and being an older person, she should have cared and she should have been able to recognise someone who was in desperate need of help. ...read more.


Whether it is true that she was really laughing at Sheila in Millward's is not known, but if she was then this shows a different, more foolish side to her. The fact that she refuses to accept stolen money from Eric shows her to be a sincere and honest person. I believe that Eva Smith was a superior person to all of the Birlings, despite their apparent divisions in class. The Inspector's moral beliefs are socialist, as seen through his final speech. 'We are responsible for each other.' He came to the Birling's house to show them the error of their ways and to try to teach them to be better people. Taking on this task is in itself a responsibility. Out of all the characters in the play, the Inspector represents responsibility and moral standards. One of the main themes to the play 'An Inspector Calls' is that we all need to look out for each other and act responsibly and be aware of the effects of our actions on others. This is something which needed to be brought to attention to the Birling family, although some of them still refused to accept that even after the Inspector pointed this out to them. The play shows that we can learn responsibility, examples of this being how Eric and Sheila changed their attitude to Eva. MATTHEW WILSON ...read more.

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