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Who is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith?

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Who is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith? Introduction In the play "An Inspector calls" by J.B. Priestly, the main focus of the plot is the death of Eva Smith. In this essay I will argue that Mrs Birling was the most responsible for her death. I will first describe the context of the play, the character Eva Smith and the circumstances of her death, put up my arguments about why the blame should mostly be put on Mrs Birling and then on the rest of the characters. Context The play is set in the dining room of the Birling's house in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands, on an evening in spring, 1912. Eva Smith Eva Smith had a terrible life. She was "a pretty, lively young girl with big dark eyes and soft brown hair". She was "fresh, charming, warmhearted, articulate, mature and intelligent". After all the trouble she'd had during her life she decided to end it in the first week of April 1912 aged 24, by "swallowing a load of disinfectant and died after several hours of agony". The Characters To a degree all of the characters are responsible for the death of Eva Smith but I think Mrs Birling is the one who should have the most blame put on her. ...read more.


This showed that he had been there often and knows about what type of person goes to the Palace Bar - "women of the town". He "insisted to go to her lodgings". This would have meant he insisted by "threatening to make a row" so she let him in as she didn't want her landlord to kick her out as she would be on the streets. He made up excuses by saying "I was in the state when a chap easily turns nasty". This really wasn't a good excuse and it was all down to the fact he was 'under the influence' and he even admitted he was drunk to the Inspector by saying, "I was a bit squiffy". He obviously forced himself on her, which was probably what led to unprotected sex, which later led to an unwanted pregnancy. When he mentioned that she refused to take any more money from him he had to admit to his father that he had stolen the money from the office, but as when the Inspector said, "you stole the money?" he answered "not really". This shows he didn't see it as a bad thing and didn't think it was a big deal. This is the exact opposite to how his father saw it; he was absolutely furious and forgot about the whole Eva situation and just thought about how Eric had to pay the money back. ...read more.


I will now argue why Gerald Croft should have the least blame if not any at all put on him for the death of Eva Smith. Gerald Croft Gerald Croft is an attractive chap about thirty, rather too manly to be a dandy but very much the easy well-bred young man-about-town. I don't think Gerald really should have any responsibility or blame put on him because he was Eva's 'knight in shining armor' when she needed someone the most. He saw her being cornered by Alderman Meggarty and took her to the County Hotel and talked mostly about herself. Then as she had almost no money and was about to be kicked out of the "miserable little backroom she had" he put her up in "Charlie Brunswick's set of rooms in Morgan Terrace". This made her feel he was her "fairy prince" and he enjoyed it for a while. She said he was the best thing that ever had happened to her and that "there'd never be anything as good for her". This is why I think that Gerald Croft isn't at all responsible for her death. Conclusion So in conclusion whilst all of the characters contributed in one way or another to the death of Eva Smith, Mrs Birling was the catalyst, so she killed herself after a life of misery. So I conclude that Mrs Birling is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith. Isobel Seddon English essay 24.10.02 1 ...read more.

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