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There are many different factors involved in the death of Eva Smith.
Each one pushed Eva Smith a bit closer to her death but no one
specifically was really responsible for her death. Whether one person
deserves to take more of the blame than another does it is difficult
to say. It was not only people that contributed to Eva Smith's death
but her position in the world and the way in which her life worked
MR Birling:-Mr Birling was the first person who we were led to believe
start off of the reason why Eva killed herself. I don't believe that
Mr Birling did anything wrong towards Eva after all the only thing he
did was sack her from his factory after she started to cause trouble
demanding higher wages. Any man in his position would have done the
same. She was making trouble as Mr Birling said, 'She had a lot to say
- far too much so she had to go´.Although I don't think that Mr
Birling did anything really wrong regarding Eva he does not come off
well throughout the play as he shows himself up a number of times
because of his personality. The major flaw in his personality is that
he seems to show no remorse for Eva who after all was a person.
Mr Birling always to wants his own way. When Mr Birling felt that the
Inspector was asking too many questions Mr Birling says about the
chief constable, 'Perhaps I ought to warn you that he is an old friend
of mine´. Even before the Inspector had arrived we see Mr Birling in
an unfavourable light. For example in an attempt to be intellectual he
says things that we now know to be completely untrue such as
describing the Titanic as 'Completely unsinkable´ and saying 'the
Germans don't want war´.We see none of Mr Birling´s good traits
instead we see him as a dishonest and cold man. I think that Mr
Birling´s character is portrayed in this way because then it does not
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dislike him just as much or perhaps even more than the other
Sheila:-Sheila was the second person that the Inspector turned on and
her part in Eva's death shows her as a jealous stuck up individual
because she turned on Eva because she was jealous of her. Sheila
wrongfully used her position as important customers to make Eva get
chucked out of her job. She even admits, 'it was my own fault´, and
that she 'was in a furious temper´. She was jealous of Eva describing
her as a 'very pretty girl too - with big dark eyes´.
Although her actions show her to be a bad tempered and jealous person.
She shows herself to be honest admitting straight away all that she
had done; Sheila does show empathy for Eva which is more than her dad
(Mr Birling). It is obvious that she does regret all that she had done
with regard to Eva claiming that, 'If I could help her now I would´.
Sheila comes across as very remorseful as she says 'I felt rotten
about it at the time and now I feel a lot worse´. She bitterly resents
what she did as well promising that 'I'll never, never do it again´.
This makes you feel less anger for Sheila who now feels terrible
guilty for Eva.
Gerald:-Gerald was the third person to be asked about Eva. He must
feel differently towards Eva than either Mr Birling or Sheila did as
he knew her personally, not as Eva Smith but as Daisy Denton; who in
short was his mistress, for a while until it was no longer convenient
for him. It could be argued that Gerald came as almost a "saviour" to
Eva and I think that is how he sees who he was to Eva. Gerald was
moderately honest admitting his part in Eva's life. He had good
manners and said the right thing but it is difficult to decide whether
he does mean what he says or that he is simply trying to come across
as well as he possibly can.
Gerald seems to be a narrow minded old-fashioned person. He would
never marry Eva because she was of the wrong class.
Mrs Birling:-Before Mrs Birling the Inspector had been talking to each
person in order of when they had met Eva. However Mrs Birling was in
fact the last person to have seen Eva and was the one that had given
Eva the final shove by refusing her any help from the society that she
helped run. The reason for this was because Eva used the name Birling.
It was clear that Mrs Birling disliked Eva and even admitted that, 'I
didn't like her manner´. Mrs Birling felt no guilt for her part in
Eva's death I think she was the only one who didn't feel guilt as I
think that even Mr Birling did a bit.
I think that Mrs Birling comes off worse in this play. She seems to be
hard and cold with no sensitivity at all and shows no respect for Eva
at all. She was keen to direct the blame away from herself claiming
that Eva, 'only had herself to blame. Mrs Birling does make herself
look stupid as she says, 'Secondly I blame the young man who was the
father of the child´ unknown to her she was describing her son as he
was the father of the child.
Eric:-Eric was the last person to come under scrutiny from the
Inspector. He had spent a night with Eva and she had fallen pregnant
with his child. Eric wasnot committed Eva and did show any care about
her other than for sex, which already someone has done to her already.
On describing his night with her he said, 'I didn't even remember it,
that's the hellish thing´. Eric also admits to stealing money from his
dads office in order to support Eva. However he was very truthful and
admitted straight away that, 'I got it from the office'.
It also comes to light that Eric is also an alcoholic something that
he had managed to keep away from his parents for a number of months.
This shows him as dishonest, ashamed and immature. I believe that he
did feel kindly towards Eva but she felt him to be too immature Erie
even said, 'In a way she treated me like a kid´.
Eric does show remorse and even said: 'I'm not likely to forget´.
However he does not take the blame for Eva's death instead he blames
Mrs Birling saying to her, 'Then - you killed her´. Eric is the only
character that does blame another person in the room. It is hard to
know whether he does sincerely blame Mrs Birling or whether he is
trying to take the blame away from himself. Either way it does show
that he is not very loyal to his family.
Conclusion:-There is no right or wrong person to blame for Eva's
death. Each person contributed a little to make Eva make up her mind
to commit suicide so I think that each person should take a little
blame. However when each person made Eva's life a little harder they
had no idea that their actions would cause this much devastation. I
think it is only fair that these people had to take blame for Eva's