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Who In Your Opinion Is The Most Responsible For The Death Of Eva Smith?

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Introduction

Who In Your Opinion Is The Most Responsible For The Death Of Eva Smith? In my opinion, all five of the characters that are interrogated by the Inspector, Inspector Goole, are mainly to blame for the death of Eva Smith. They are Arthur Birling, Sheila Birling, Sybil Birling, Eric Birling and finally Gerald Croft. However, some of them are more responsible than others, although it cannot be said that it was solely one character's responsibility; they all, one by one drove this girl to suicide. The first person the inspector interrogates is Arthur Birling. Mr. Birling is a much respected member of the community and is a typical stereotype of an upper class man. He has a very low view of people lower in society than him. Because Eva Smith and the other workers weren't getting paid enough, 'they went on strike,' as Mr.Birling refused to increase their wage as 'it's my duty to keep labour costs down... we'd have added twelve per cent to labour costs.' Mr. Birling then said 'we let them all come back - at the old rates - except the four or five ring-leaders, who'd started the trouble.' One of the ringleaders was Eva Smith, and he said that she 'had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go.' His excuse was, 'If you don't come down sharply on some of these people, they'd soon be asking the earth.' At first he tries to get out of any of the responsibility for Eva's death; he doesn't want his reputation to be harmed in any way. He says that he is up for a 'knighthood'. He's not prepared to accept any responsibility for her death. He says he was simply doing his job, 'look there's nothing mysterious or scandalous about this business,' and 'it happened nearly two years ago, obviously it has nothing to do with the wretched girls suicide,' show this. ...read more.

Middle

Gerald then 'broke it off definitely' and so 'She had to move out of those rooms.' He finished with her and cast her aside because of his relationship with Sheila Birling. They both also knew there wasn't going to be any future in their relationship because of their classes and social standings. Daisy/Eva herself knew it wouldn't have been a long affair and there is also evidence that she was surprised at how long it did last, 'She told me that she's happier than she had ever been before - but that she knew it couldn't last - hadn't expected it to last.' I think that Daisy/Eva benefited from these events in the long run rather than lost out. She might have been heartbroken for a little period of time (she didn't seem to show any remorse) and maybe even homeless, but Gerald had shown her love and also given her money to ensure she was stable until the end of the year. She had a period of happiness, security and love for a while which, as far as we know, she hadn't had for a long time. Although Gerald left her, she was in the same position as she was before; probably better off. Gerald kept the girl out of trouble during the summer when she could have been out on the streets or at the Palace bar getting into trouble, like she had before. Gerald himself felt responsible for her death when he heard about it. He might have had negative thoughts such as the girl might have had more to lose than previously when he had kicked her out, and also when she'd been with him she had an enjoyable luxurious lifestyle, and that being rejected by him was probably more hurtful to the girl than the dismissals inflicted on her by Arthur and Sheila Birling because there were strong emotions involved. ...read more.

Conclusion

She knocked Eva back through not fault of her own. Mrs Birling was, as it were, the sole sentence to death, and by removing Eva's rights based on prejudices, Mrs Birling left Eva only one way out. This was more than which Eva could take, and it was after this that Eva committed suicide. In conclusion, my opinion is that, although all the characters were to blame for the death of Eva Smith, Eric Birling was the most responsible. The other character's incidents were all uncalled for and was just them being either frustrated or prejudice towards Eva because, for example, of her working class background. However, Eric was not prejudice towards Eva/Daisy, and he was not really frustrated either. He simply treated the poor girl as if she wasn't human. He made love to her and then tried to pay her off when he realised she was in fact pregnant. After the girl broke away from him, she was left completely on the edge with nothing except the burden of an unborn baby. If Eric had not stolen the money that he gave to her, and got drunk and slept with her, she would not have had to leave him as she would not have got pregnant with no money and without a place live. Eric did however feel remorse for his actions but it seems to me though, that part of his display of emotions was to manoeuvre himself out of trouble with his parents. Since she had absolutely nothing after the relationship with Eric, except an 'unwanted' unborn child, I think that this was the situation that drove her to the point to commit suicide by drinking the disinfectant. We mustn't, however, confuse blame with responsibility. All of the characters were partly responsible; some to a more deeper extent than others. But all the characters were equally to blame, as it was not just down to one person, just as the Inspector makes it clear at the end of the play, 'But each of you helped to kill her. Remember that, never forget it.' ...read more.

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