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Which character emerges least well from his/her involvement with Eva Smith?

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Introduction

Which character emerges least well from his/her involvement with Eva Smith? Support your reasons with evidence from the text The play "An Inspector Calls" by J.B Priestley is based on an inspector investigating a suicide case, where every member of a high status family is accused of being the source of a poor girl's tragedy. As the story goes on, we are told the behaviours, actions and reactions of the family that affected Eva Smith negatively. I feel that the character that emerges least well from his involvement with this incident is Mr Birling. However, Mr Birling isn't the only one who should be blamed, the other characters were also part of the blame. Sheila, the charming daughter of the family, dismissed Eva Smith from her new job out of jealousy. This left Eva Smith on the streets, and when she met Gerald Croft, Sheila's fianc�, Eva fell in love. ...read more.

Middle

Yet, Eva Smith yearned for more than the average amount of shillings; she wanted twenty-five shillings a week. Mr Birling refused this request in order to keep labour costs down. He stated that it was a free country: "We were paying the usual rates and if they didn't like those rates, they could go and work somewhere else" (top of page 15). And because of that, the matters got much worse for Eva Smith. Many of the workers went on strike, and eventually after a few weeks, the workers ran out of money to support themselves, therefore leading to the closing stages of the strike. All of the workers were accepted back to Birling & Company and continued earning their old rates, except for the few workers that began the trouble. Mr Birling decided to discharge the leaders of the strike, so they wouldn't cause any more trouble for the company. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Top of page 58). Mr Birling was only concerned about this matter because it would be all over the papers, and it would affect his chance of being knighted. In conclusion, I can say that Mr Birling is the character that emerges least well from his involvement with Eva Smith. This is shown when we see that Mr Birling has the same attitude before and after the Eva Smith incident. Even though Mr Birling started this chain of events, after knowing everything that Eva Smith has been through because of his family, he remains to be the same portentous, self absorbed and arrogant man that he always has been. All Eva Smith wanted was a few extra shillings, but Mr Birling refused and made her pay a heavy price for that desire. This play shows us that there are many poor people, especially girls, that are dying all the time, and people like Mr Birling, who have the advantage of being upper class and can afford certain luxuries, should be willing to help. ...read more.

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