• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Who is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith?

Extracts from this document...


Who is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith? By Fahim Talukder 10SS There are many different attributes involving the death of Eva Smith. Each character pushed Eva Smith a little closer to suicide but nobody was solely responsible for her death. Whether one person deserves to take more of the blame than another does it is difficult to say. It was not only people that contributed to Eva Smith's death but her position in the world and the way in which her life worked out. This play can be seen in some people's eyes as a plangent and In Inspector Calls in Act Three, the Inspector Goole reveals to the Birling family, the girl died a "horrible death" but each of the Birlings "helped to kill her". In this essay I will be searching for whom who was the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith, and will be looking at the characters and how they act towards the Inspector. The Inspectors interaction with the characters and how he makes them push out the truth. Also I'll to contrast between the Inspector and Mrs Birling. I will examine each character in turn to assess their responsibility for the death of Eva Smith. This debatable play begins as the Birlings are celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling and Gerald Croft. Everyone is very happy and the audience can sense a warm feeling around the house. The atmosphere at the beginning was very carefree and joyful. The Birling's illustrate to be an upper class family of the time enjoying the evening and the luxury of their wealth. In page 11, Act 1, a mysterious Inspector influxes mysteriously, Inspector Goole was his name and he arrives unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family. The Inspectors startling revelations not only shatter the very foundations of their lives but challenge us all to examine our consciences. ...read more.


Immediately her character is shown to be sympathetic because of this guilt. Sheila wrongfully used her position as an important customer to turn Eva out of a job. She even admits, 'it was my own fault', and that she 'was in a furious temper'. She was jealous of Eva describing her as a 'very pretty girl too - with big dark eyes'. Sheila goes on to explain how she was entirely responsible for Eva Smith losing her job at "Milwards". "I went to the manager at Milwards and I told him that if they didn't get rid of that girl I'd never go near the place again and I'd persuade mother to close our account with them� This shows that Sheila, like her father, abused her position as a wealthy member of the community, who could influence others due to her relations. Her actions do show her to be a very bad tempered, jealous and malicious person you get the impression as she begins to talk that that is quite a harsh view of her and that although she does have bad characteristics she isn't really as bad as you first think her to be. She shows herself to be honest admitting straight away all that she had done, that she caught sight of her smiling at the assistant and 'I was furious with her'. I believe that the audience get the impression that Sheila isn't as bad as Mr Birling. She does feel sympathy for the girl. Sheila feels great guilt over the crime that she has committed however, she agrees with the Inspector when he says "You used the power you had to punish the girl" Unlike her absurd father Sheila is full of sorrow and remorse for what she did, the inspector supports her when stating, "She feels responsible". Sheila does honestly, says that "I know I'm to blame, and I'm desperately sorry." ...read more.


The differing attitudes between the older and younger characters are shown by their conversations following the Inspector's departure. In the plot of An Inspector Calls, the characters respond to the message that they are given by the Inspector in different ways. Sheila and Eric fully understand the idea that, as the Inspector says, "We all live as one body. We don't live alone" and unsuccessful try to persuade their parents of the merits of this arguments. Birling and Mrs Birling stubbornly cling to their beliefs and Gerald also comes out on their side, although this could be a result of him trying to make the elder Birlings happy with himself. By the time that the inspector has left, it is quite clear that each member of the Birling family has contributed to Eva Smith's death; one by one the inspector confronts them and deals a final blow. In conclusion to my essay J B Priestly deliberately makes Eva out to be the helpless victim in order for the others needs to seem much worse. I don't think that you can fully blame Eva for her death, as she did not know how things would work out. It may be more wise to blame society and they way in which we live, as it is Eva Smith's class and time that set her apart, no real crime has been committed and it is more a case if social conscience, consequently a moral responsibility should be shared by the family and their future actions affected to aid others and not just themselves. There is no right or wrong person to blame for Eva's death. Each person had a little to 'help' Eva make up her mind to commit suicide so in my opinion they each should take a little blame. However when each person made Eva's life a little harder they had no idea that their actions would cause this much devastation. I am sure that other people have done much worse things with no consequences so perhaps it wasn't fair that these people had to take any blame for Eva's death. ...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 J.B. Priestley 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 J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The apportioning of blame and responsibility are central themes in 'An Inspector Calls'. Each ...

    4 star(s)

    After taking off the dress Sheila catches Eva smiling whilst holding up the dress and takes this the wrong way, so she threatens to withdraw her account from them if Eva wasn't fired. The manager fired Eva. After telling her story we see that Sheila take her share of the

  2. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    She obviously refuses to accept any blame and although she is shocked by Eric's involvement she never shows any upset. She believes she behaved correctly and "did my duty" in turning away an undeserving claim. She is a typical sort of women involved in committees in those times so they can ease their consciences.

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Sheila Birling and Eva Smith in J.B. Priestley's ...

    Eva's lifestyle is completely contrasting to that of Sheila's. While Sheila relied on others to support her and lived an almost carefree life, Eva had to work hard all her life to support herself. Her hard-working nature is shown when the Inspector says, "A good worker too, in fact the foreman told me he was just about to promote her."

  2. To what extent can Gerald Croft be held responsible for for the death of ...

    He said that his good self had become the most important person in the poor girls life and that he wanted to help her. But the last sentence was the one that made him partly responsible for the death when he said, " I see.

  1. An Inspector calls Compare and contrast the way in which Arthur and Sheila Birling ...

    * To try to impose his will and authority on Eric and Sheila * To be concerned about the effect of a social scandal on his chances of knighthood When it was revealed to Arthur Birling, by the Inspector, that the young girl that has committed suicide was Eva Smith

  2. Do you agree that Eva Smith is presented as a victimin the play 'An ...

    Eva Smith is presented as the victim here because she has been forced out of a job through no major fault of her own. The Inspector soon goes on to mention that Eva Smith then changed her name to Daisy Renton.


    Eva Smith needed support after all the troubles and bad luck that she had faced, and as a last resort turned to Mrs. Birling's help committee. She must have though that she was not needed in life after the one hope that should have promised to help her refused to help her.

  2. How is Eva Smith presented in the play? What is the function of this ...

    It is not her flaws and vices that have led her to this situation but is purely a consequence of society?s lack of consideration and empathy. Eva Smith is quite commendable at this point because despite Gerald ending their relationship to suite himself, Eva is very understanding and ?didn?t blame (Gerald)

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