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

Who in Your Opinion is most Responsible for the Death of Eva Smith?

Extracts from this document...


Who in Your Opinion is most Responsible for the Death of Eva Smith? 'An Inspector Calls' is a 1940s detective mystery play written by J.B. Priestley based around the suicide of the character Eva Smith, a working class woman who has a direct link to every member of the Birling family. Priestley's main anxiety was the idea of capitalism and it's 'every man is an island' ideas as he was a famous socialist. The Inspector in the play wants to show the Birlings that their actions have consequences and affect the lives of other people, irrespective of their class. Eva Smith's death was the result of a chain of events that began with the head of the Birling family, Mr Birling, sacking her from her job at his factory when she asked for higher wages than the meager amount he was paying her. Mr Birling does not think that he is in the wrong at all and that sacking her was a perfectly reasonable action to take; 'She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go.' ...read more.


Sheila's fianc´┐Ż, Gerald Croft, also plays a part in the chain of events leading to Eva Smith's suicide. The Inspector makes it apparent that Gerald knew more about Eva Smith than he had let on. Very early on in the play, Sheila had talked about how she did not see much of Gerald last summer; 'except for all last summer, when you never came near me and I wondered what had happened to you'. Gerald had claimed that he 'was very busy at the works at the time', but he soon admits that at this time he had been having an affair with Eva Smith, or Daisy Renton as she claimed her name was. He put her up in an apartment and continued to visit her there from time to time. As Eva (Daisy) had no one else, Gerald soon became the most important person in her life and she fell deeply in love with him. When Eva's life was in tatters, Gerald seemed to her like a way of getting her life back on track and when ...read more.


Mrs Birling is shocked at her son, especially after everything she had said about the father of Eva's child. Eric resorted to stealing from his father's office to try and temporarily support her which appalled his parents farther. Unlike his parents and Gerald Croft, Eric shows a lot of remorse and seems to realise the consequences of his actions; 'You're beginning to pretend now that nothings really happened at all... The girl's still dead, isn't she?' To conclude, I think everyone was partly to blame for the death of Eva Smith, but perhaps Mr Birling should be held mostly responsible for his actions triggered the chain of events that ultimately resulted in her suicide. What we can see by the end of the play is which characters are mature enough to accept that their actions have consequences, no matter what class someone is in. Surprisingly, the only two characters that understand what they have done wrong are the youngest, Eric and Sheila. I think that Priestley was trying to say something about the capitalism of the older generation of people and how the newer generations were taking on socialist ideas. ...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 Writing to Argue, Persuade and Advise 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 Writing to Argue, Persuade and Advise essays

  1. Who is to blame for king Duncans death

    Mischief making is the favourite pastime of the witches. They plan: "Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger But I'm a sieve I'll thither sail And like a rat without a tail". They plan to torment sailor because his wife refuse to give him chestnuts. When the witches meet Macbeth and Barque they greet Macbeth as thane

  2. An Inspector Calls

    He seems very worried. It is as if he is feeling guilty for something or he is in trouble for something. When the doorbell rings however everyone's mood changes. It once again becomes more serious and this once again raises the tension, drama and interest of the audience.

  1. An Inspector Calls

    scare Birling and it is perhaps at this time where he finally takes some sort of responsibility for the girls death. Priestley continues to show his negative views on capitalists and the use of character entrances and exits allows him to display these views in a very strong manner.

  2. The inspector calls

    Mr Birling isn't socially responsible, and I think that was partly the message Priestly was trying to give out and to show how businesses were run. Sheila Birling, the daughter of Arthur and Sybil Birling, described as "A pretty girl in her early twenties...pleased about life...excited" Sheila first heard about

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