There are many different factors involved with the death of Eva Smith
that should be considered while asking the question whom ultimately
killed Eva Smith. Each one of the Birling family (including Gerald
Croft) pushed Eva Smith that extra bit closer to killing herself, but
no one person was individually responsible for her death. Whether one
person was more to blame than any other it is hard to say. Although
these people contributed to her unfortunate end to life, her position
in life and society are also greatly to blame.
It is Mr. Arthur Birling who starts off the train of events, as he is
the first to come in to contact with Eva Smith. Mr. Birling sacked Eva
Smith from his factory after she and a few others went on strike,
demanding higher wages. As Mr. Birling said to the inspector, 'She'd
had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go'. I don't see that
he did anything wrong, anyone in his position would have done the
same. And as he says, it's his duty 'to keep labour costs down'. He's
a 'hardheaded businessman', as he calls himself, he'd do anything to
make as much profit as possible. He wasn't to know what would happen
to Eva Smith two years down the line, after he sacked her. As he said
'If you don't come down sharply on some of theses people, they'd soon
be asking for the earth'.
Although Mr. Birling didn't do anything wrong in my eyes, he wasn't
portrayed too well throughout the play. He shows himself to be
arrogant, complacent and self-absorbed. One major flaw in Mr.
Birling's behaviour is that he seems to show no remorse at all for
Eva, and after all he did help drive her to commit suicide. He shows
no regret for dismissing E...
... middle of paper ...
...ike ending her
life, and she wouldn't be lying on a slab with her insides burnt out.
After all, she was the person who decided to kill herself, she could
have tried for another job, she could have accepted the money from
Eric and she could have made him responsible for the baby, when it
In conclusion, it would be unfair to put the blame onto one person,
when each and every one of them helped contribute to Evas' miserable
end to life. It may be more accurate to blame society, her class, and
the time in which she lived. No real crime has been committed in this
play, but I believe that the Birling family should share the moral
responsibility for this young woman's pitiful suicide. Then maybe next
time they are about to do something selfish they'll think of the
devestation they might bring to others, and not just the benefit they
bring to themselves.
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