The audience would learn that the play has seven characters and is set in 1912. The whole play is conducted from the Berlings dining room that is in an industrial city called Brumley in the North Midlands. The play opens with the Birling family celebrating Shella’s engagement to Gerald Croft who is also at the party. We see that Gerald and the Birlings are fairly wealthy because they can afford to have a party unlike most people at that time. On page 11 the Inspector is introduced and commences to tell the Berlings that “two hours ago a young woman died in the Infirmary”.Order now
The young woman was dead because she had drunk some bleach. Suicide was suspected. Her name was Eva Smith. He starts his investigation by questioning Mr Birling and slowly works his way through the family, including Gerald Sheila’s fianci?? e. Mr Birling is the first person the Inspector confronts with the responsibility of the young women’s death. Mr Berling is the type of character that thinks he knows every thing he says, he thinks that the Titanic is unsinkable and that there will never be a war which is a dramatic irony, because the audience watching in 1946 or later will know that there have been two world wars.
Eva had been employed at Mr Berlings factory but had been sacked for leading a strike to get the workers more pay. At first Mr Birling will not accept responsibility which is shown when he says, “Still, I can’t accept any responsibility. If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward. ” Mr Birling shows in this way, that he has a lot of power to say if the workers have a steady income or not and does not care about the consequences.
The Inspector thinks that Mr Birling is partly to blame for Eva being so depressed that she killed herself because she lost her job at Mr Burlings company and could not find another for two months of the year. Eva smith had no family and was desperate for a job to support herself. The second person questioned by the Inspector was Sheila who is the only one who does accept some of the blame. Sheila is a young woman who tends to over-react to things. Sheila is engaged to Gerald. When she thought that a dress looked better on Eva than it did on her she became very angry.
This was clearly shown when she says “When I was looking at myself in the mirror I caught sight of her smiling at the assistant, and I was furious with her. I’d been in a bad temper anyhow. ” Sheila shows she has a lot of power and wealth when she tells the shop’s manager that if he doesn’t get rid of her then she’ll stop coming to the shop and will persuade her mother to close her account with them. So the shop sacked her and again Eva was left with no job and nobody to talk to she was very desperate now and would take any job she could.