Who, in your opinion, is most responsible for the death of Eva smith? Use evidence from the text to justify your opinion. What reaction does Priestley intend the audience to have to the content of the play? How does he set about achieving them? Do you think he was successful?
In class we have been reading J.B Prietley’s “An Inspector Calls” Where a girl named Eva smith died by drinking a bottle of strong disinfectant which burnt her from the inside, it happens that a family had been celebrating an engagement on the same night and into the cosy and excited scene intrudes the harsh and mysterious figure of police inspector Goole questioning everybody in the room linked to the death. In my essay I will briefly explain how each of them caused her death and how under interrogation, every member reveal their shameful secrets.
Arthur Birling, a rich factory owner in Bromley who was the first to be questioned by the inspector. He was someone who I noticed was quite opinionated and always had fixed ideas ‘don’t worry, we have passed the worst of’ and when he was speaking to the inspector he thought he had more authority than him so he should not be given that type of treatment ‘I was a alderman for years – and lord mayor two years ago – and I’m still on the bench’ Eva Smith worked for Mr.
Birling in his factory and Mr. Birling thought she was ready for a promotion, until they came back from a summer break, a group of ladies formed a strike requesting for more payment and Eva Smith along with all the other workers got sacked, if not for that strike, Eva would have got a promotion ‘A good worker too, in fact the Forman told me she was ready to be promoted into what we call a leading operating – head of a small group of girls’
After Eva Smith was sacked, both her parents died and she had no place to stay ‘She was out of work for two months, both her parents were dead, but she found work at a good place-milwards where she had enjoyed herself there and had no problems until the two female Birlings entered Sheila and her mother came into Milwards looking for clothes in which Mrs. Birling was choosing for Sheila, this made Sheila a bit angry and she was easily annoyed at this time when her mother brought out a hat that Shelia did not like so an assistant asked Eva to try it on and Eva looked better.
Jealous and angry, Sheila tried the hat on once again, this time she thought she saw Eva laughing at her so complained and threatened Milwards, and as a result Eva was sacked and it was obvious that the real reason that Sheila got Eva sacked was because of jealousy, Shelia was jealous that Eva was prettier than her ‘She was a very pretty girl too – with big dark eyes – and that didn’t make it better. ‘
I think that Sheila is silly and easily annoyed, it was unnecessary to get Eva sacked for that silly reason, I think it also shows that Shelia is a very shallow and paranoid person. Gerald Croft, a rather attractive chap, about thirty, rather too Manley to be a dandy but the easy well bred young man about town. Gerald was celebrating hid engagement to Sheila Birling and all was going well until the inspector came, once he came Gerald learnt Shelia’s dreaded secret and then the inspector started on him.
Daisy Renton was the name Gerald knew Eva Smith, he met her at a club when he took her to a posh restaurant and then took her home until he found out that she did not have a place to stay, so he lent her his friends house and kept checking on her, and as time went on he started using her for his own pleasures even though he knew there was no hope of marriage, later on, he told her about his engagement.
Of course this was not the fault of her death, but It left Eva with emotional scars and left her depressed, he should feel very guilty for taking advantage of her ‘I had to go away for several weeks – on business – and by that time Daisy knew it was coming to an end, so I broke it off definitely before I went. ‘ Mrs. Birling, the rich wife of Mr. Birling, she is just like him – posh arrogant and opinionative, she also thinks that she is higher in authority. Mrs. Birling worked as a prominent member of the Brumley women’s charity organization – an organization that helps women in distress with various reasons.
Eva Smith appealed to her organization after she found out she was pregnant but when she got there, she gave the name Mrs. Birling, Angrily; Mrs. Birling used her influence to get her restricted. ‘I didn’t like her manner; she’d impertinently made use of our name. ‘
Moments after they restricted her, they told her to find the man responsible, later Mrs. Birling told the inspector this, the ironic twist of the scene entered, Mrs Birling spent a lot of time telling the inspector to find the man responsible and lock him up, make him publicly. ‘And if you take some steps to find this young man and then make sure he is compelled to confess in public his responsibility. ‘ Mrs. Birling had said to lock up the young man responsible until Eric entered the house.
Once young Eric entered the inspector immediately went to him and right away questioned him. Eric met Eva in a bar and took her home at that point Eric was drunk ‘I was in the state when a chap easily turns nasty and threatened to make a row. ‘
When they were both indoors, Eric and Eva had sex and got Eva Pregnant. With Eric that was not the offence he had done, in order to support Eva, he had been stealing money from his dad’s office – about fifty pounds, which in those days was a lot of money ‘I insisted in giving her money to keep going’ in some ways Eric can be blame – for taking advantage of her, but he did all he could to support her, and in my opinion all Eric is guilty for is taking advantage of a broken hearted girl.