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Who is most responsible for Eva Smith's death? J.B Priestly - An inspector calls

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Introduction

Who is most responsible for Eva Smith's death? 'An Inspector calls' is a well-known play, it is also a well-made play due to it's progression from ignorance to knowledge, not only for the audience but for the characters as well. The date set is 1912, 2 years before the First World War. The place; a wealthy families dining room. The family consist of Arthur Birling, the father of Eric and Sheila. Mr Birling's wife is Sybil Birling. The family is well spoken, and all though they seem like a tight family who are very close, they don't really seem to know much about each other. But through out the play, turning from ignorance to knowledge they start to find out many secrets about each other's past. The play starts in the family dining room celebrating the engagement between Sheila and Gerald. Gerald is also at the celebration; he is the son of one of Mr Birling's rivals. They are all talking at first about the economic situation of England, Mr Birling mentions a new ship called the titanic which sails the following week 'The titanic - forty six thousand eight hundred tons - New York in five days - and unsinkable' in a way that quote symbolises the play. A family with everything going for them, full of confidence thinking nothing could bring them down. ...read more.

Middle

The Inspector then decides to question Sheila. Sheila is the most moved from the experience out of the whole family. She tells the inspector that she was intimidated by Eva Smith's good looks. Eva Smith had managed to find herself a new job at a clothes shop called 'Milwards'. Sheila had gone in to buy a hat, unfortunately the hat did not look right on her, Sheila feeling embarrassed caught Eva Smith 'laughing' at her. Sheila refused to go in again unless Eva was sacked. This left Eva Smith unemployed again. Sheila felt nothing of what she had done, she did not think of the consequences. Once She discovered that Eva Smith had committed suicide she felt truly guilty for what she had done. Eva Smith changed her name to Daisy Renton and had to become a prostitute to get money. This is where Gerald meets her. Gerald protected her from a slimy man trying to seduce her. Gerald realising she had no money took her to a house that he was looking after and let her stay in it. He ended up having an affair with Eva Smith. Finding that the affair was going to far he had to tell her to leave. He offered her money and felt very guilty about the whole thing and found it hard to come over the terms that she was dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think although Sheila also got Eva Smith fired from Milwards, Eva could have looked somewhere else for a job, and not depended on Gerald so much. I also think Gerald did what he could. Eva Smith could have looked for a job while leaving in the apartment that Gerald was looking after, she even mentioned that she knew she was going to get thrown out soon. Eric I think was most responsible for Eva Smith's death, although offering marriage and money, it was his fault for her getting pregnant. Mrs Birling although refused to give Eva Smith money, did not really know the position Eva was in. At the end of the play the family discover the inspector is not an official police inspector. I think that whoever the Inspector is, he is a strong socialist. He says 'One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths... their lives all inter wined with our lives... we are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.' This totally contradicts with what the conservative Mr Birling says near the beginning of the play '...the way these cranks talk, you'd think everybody has to look after everybody else... a man has to mind his own business and look after himself.' So although I couldn't say who I thought the inspector was exactly I would guess a political agitator, to make this wealthy family think of their consequences. George Pite Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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