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With reference to two characters, show how their involvement with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton reflects their social attitudes and comment on how far you feel the organisation of society at that time was responsible for Eva smith's tragedy.

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Introduction

With reference to two characters, show how their involvement with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton reflects their social attitudes and comment on how far you feel the organisation of society at that time was responsible for Eva smith's tragedy. Sheila, unlike her father Mr Birling, is honest and lacks the cold-hearted attitude of her parents. She is deeply affected about the inspector's revelations. But she is reviled as a spiteful girl, as she contributed to the death of a young girl. She is the only character that gives optimism for the future. At the start of the play is vain and spiteful but changes to a more caring person to the end. Her father Mr Birling is quite the opposite. He doesn't care about the tragedy, only that it could cause a scandal. He is relieved that the rest of his family is to blame and not just him. He shows through the Act that he is an ignorant and optimistic person who lives to impress the upper class society. The play starts off with the family celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald Croft. ...read more.

Middle

But when the inspector suggests that it wasn't only him he is relieved and apologises for his arrogance even though it moves the blame to his family. It is Sheila who realises the inspectors intentions very early on, "You talk as if we were responsible." She is guilty for what she has done and when the rest of the family finds out that it is all a hoax and forgets it she is enraged. She starts shouting at them. There is a complete role reversal as she tells the parents that they should be responsible for their actions. Normally it would be the other way around. "Everything we said had happened really had happened. It is clever, then that Sheila is basically well disposed. Her honesty and integrity seem to recommend themselves to the inspector. There is a point in the play where he personally leaps to her defence. She is insistent on hearing the whole cause and is cruelly accused by Gerald Croft. Sheila acts almost like an accomplice of the inspector, when the parents realise this they call her a traitor but she only wants to know the truth. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play starts off with the family celebrating the fact that Sheila is marrying a young man called Gerald. Mr Birling sees this marriage as a way of increasing his social standing. He has no thought that it will lead to a happy life for Sheila, he just thinks of himself. Gerald's father is one of Mr Birling's rivals and so the marriage might join the two companies. Mr Birling also tries to impress Gerald so that he can make himself look better that he really is. This can be shown when he speaks to Gerald; he casually mentions that he has the same port. "...Finchly told me it's exactly the same port that your father buys". He then goes on about his past and how he was a mayor and that could help him to become knighted. Sheila is naturally unable to deal with the full responsible for Eva Smith's death. She is the better mother and has responsibilities. We learn that she wants to learn from her mistakes and treat the people equal. On the other hand we learn that Mr Birling is an arrogant, naive, selfish person that only thinks of himself and believes that you should look after yourself and your own. By Chris Ward ...read more.

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