An Inspector Calls
An inspector calls by J.b Priestly is a play which focuses on the responsibilities and consequences of each character in the play During the play the audience discover who is the most to blame for the death, of the young lady Eva Smith
In Brumley, a large house set in 1912. A family were celebrating the engagement of Miss Sheila Birling and Mr Gerard Croft. During the celebration an inspector known as inspector Goole interrupted them about an incident at the infirmary. He informed them about a suicide. A young lady known as Eva Smith died a slow and painful death by drinking disinfectant. Inspector Goole asked questions and we learn that each member has a connection to do with the death. We later find out the inspector wasnt a real inspector. Mr Birling then receives a phone call from a real inspector who told him a young girl committed suicide and they were going to be questioned.
The character that appears to be the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith was Mrs Birling. Mrs Birling thinks very highly of herself and cares a lot about her social status. When we first meet Mrs Birling she is very disrespectful and she looks down on people who are in a lower class than her. We see this when Mrs Birling says to Mr Birling Arthur your not supposed to say such things when Mr Birling praises the cook. Mrs Birling is a judgemental woman who is chair of a charity, which gives financial support to women in distress. When the inspector starts asking Mrs Birling questions about Eva going to her charity and why she refused her financial help. Mrs Birling said, I didnt like her manner, she impertinently made use of our name, though she pretended afterwards it was first shed thought of. This shows that Mrs Birling is angry and annoyed at Eva because she had used her name and lied about being married and that her husband was leaving her. So Mrs Birling refused her appeal for help. Mrs Birling was very selfish and thoughtless when she refused Evas case because she really just pushed Eva to the edge, which was horrible. The inspector told Mrs Birling she came to you for help, at a time no women could of needed it more this show the inspector is suspicious and doesnt agree with what she had done but in the end Mrs Birling refused to take the blame for her actions.
The character that also appeared to play a big part of the death of Eva Smith was Gerard Croft. Mr Gerard Croft was engaged to Miss Sheila Birling. They both seemed so happy but during the summer Gerard had a few drinks with Eva but she had changed her name to Daisy Renton. He wanted her to talk about her self but she didnt really say much. She told Gerald she was hungry, so Gerald got her some food. Gerald let her stay in Morgan Terrance and gave her money to keep her going. Gerald says I want you to understand that I didnt install her there so that I could make love to her, I made her go because I felt sorry for her. Gerald used Eva as his mistress and the he had an affair with her. The affair went on all summer without Sheila knowing. Gerard explained she told me shed been happier than she had even been before but that she knew it couldnt last this is showing the audience that Eva was happy and she hadnt been as happy as she was before. When Gerard decided it should end he told us that Eva (Daisy) was very gallant about it. If Gerard hadnt made Eva feel like he loved her and then abandon she wouldnt have been stressed and she wouldnt of committed suicide. Gerald feels bad when he hears about Evas death and he wasnt proud of what he had done.
Mr Birling is also partially to blame for the death of Eva Smith. Mr Birling employed Eva. He told us that Eva was a good worker. But when Eva and some other workers asked for a pay rise Mr Birling decided to fire Eva. Mr Birling explained They were averaging about twenty-two and 6 which was neither more nor less than is paid generally in our industry. They wanted the rate raised so they could average about twenty-five shillings a week. I refused of course But if Mr Birling hadnt fired Eva she wouldnt have been used by Gerald, Sacked from Millwards, refused help from Mrs Birling and got pregnant by Eric and then committed suicide.
Eric Birling also played a part of the events leading up to Evas death because he got her pregnant. Eric was anxious when he found out Eva was dead. He didnt want anyone to know that he got Eva Pregnant. When the inspector questions Eric, he admits everything. During the play we learn Eric stole money to try and help Eva keep herself and the baby she was carrying healthy but when Eva learns that the money is stolen she refuses to take anymore from him. Mr Birling asks Eric where he got the money from and he says(miserably) I got it-from the office this shows that Eric cared about Eva and he put himself at the risk of being fired and have nothing at all left. Everyone is shock that Eric would steal form his own father. Eric is very disappointed with his mother for refusing Evas case and he says to his mother then-you killed her-and the child shed have too-my child-your own grandchild-you killed them both- damn you, damn you- this shows Eric is angry with his mother and that he thinks its her fault shes dead.
The character that appears least to blame for the death of Eva is Sheila Birling. Sheila is a helpful and very polite young lady. During the play we learn that Sheila is also a very small part to do with the events leading up to young Evas death. When Eva Worked at Millwards, Sheila is the reason she got sacked. When Sheila went to try something on, an idea of her own she didnt think it suited her and that she looked silly in the thing. But when the assistant (miss Francis) asked Eva to show Miss and Mrs Birling it up against her Sheila was jealous because Eva looked pretty and she suited it. When Sheila looked in the mirror she thought she was smiling at the assistant as if to say doesnt she look awful. Shelia was furious so she went to the manager and told him that the girl had been very impertinent and that she wasnt coming back to the shop until she had gone. So poor Eva got fired all over again. Sheila said yes, thats it. And I know Im to blame and Im desperately sorry-but I cant believe, I wont believe-its simply my fault that in the end sheshe committed suicide. This shows Sheila is feeling very guilty about whats happened and that if she could have stopped it all she would have.
The main theme of An Inspector Calls is responsibility. It shows how our personal responsibilities for our own actions can have such bad consequence and you dont know what could happen.
An Inspector Calls was set in Northern England in 1912 just before world war 2. This is important to the play because it shows the time the play was written.
The author intension is to try and think about how actions we take have effect on others and their feelings.
In conclusion Mrs Birling is most to blame for the death of Eva Smith.