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Who is to blame for Eva Smith's death in

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Alex McGahey 11P "An Inspector Calls" J.B. Priestley Who is to blame for Eva Smith's death in "An Inspector Calls"? John Boyton Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1894 and sadly, his mother also died that same year. When Priestley left school he already knew he wanted to be a writer, but he wanted to experience the "real outside world" to draw upon for inspiration. We could perhaps comment on the fact that Priestley's loss of his mother could be linked with the premature death of Eva Smith in "An Inspector Calls". Evidence is given quite early on in the first act of "An Inspector Calls" to suggest that the play was set in the past to allow J.B. Priestley to "let Mr Birling lead himself up the garden path in historical predictions, and show him to be wrong in his whole outlook on the world". It could be argued that the most important theme of "An Inspector Calls" is responsibility which can be described in two ways - each of the Birlings and Gerald Croft's own personal responsibility for Eva Smith's death or how the cause of her death would affect their social responsibility. ...read more.


A month or two later, Eva discovered she was pregnant, carrying Eric Birling's child. However, Eric takes great responsibility for Eva Smith's death and seems to have learnt a lot by the end of "An Inspector Calls". Also, Eric comes across as being a drunk, a liar and a thief as he stole money from his father, Arthur Birling so he could provide some support for Eva and their child. However, he does this in a very sneaky way and lies to cover his actions. He can also be described as being weak and lonely but he is capable of expressing his real and true feelings. In late March 1912, Eva visited Mrs Birling for help to support her and her unborn child, but when asked by Sybil Birling what her name was, she answered by saying it was Mrs. Birling. This made the real Mrs Birling extremely angry and she refused to help Eva Smith, not knowing that Eva was in fact carrying her grandchild. Mrs. Birling can be described as being hard-faced and arrogant. She thinks she is superior because of her social status and can also be described as coming across as "snobbish" as she judges others by their class. ...read more.


However, Mr and Mrs. Birling show they only think about themselves and how much Eva's death will affect their social responsibility, which each person involved with Eva Smith should have thought about before their actions took place. Although Mr and Mrs. Birling refused to accept any blame for Eva's suicide, Gerald was not much better than these two as he just wanted everyone to forget about it and move on and he wanted to think of a quick and easy way out of the situation, but Eric and Sheila Birling accepted they had done wrong and immediately showed a sense of guilt towards the results of Eva's death and they were both prepared to face the consequences of what bot themselves and their family had done to Eva, even if it would affect the social position they were both in. Sheila and Eric were both extremely affected by Inspector Goole, as were Arthur and Sybil Birling, but Sheila and Eric were affected by extreme guilt and shame for their actions towards Eva whereas Arthur and Sybil are affected by the Inspector in a different sense as they are forced to face how Eva's suicide will affect their social responsibility. ...read more.

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