Who Is Responsible For The Death Of

Eva Smith Essay, Research Paper

There are many different factors involved in the death of

Eva Smith.? Each one pushed Eva Smith a

little closer to suicide but no one person was solely 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 out.Mr

Birling was the first person who we were led to believe started off the train

of events that ultimately led to the death of Eva Smith.? 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.? He seems to be a very

hard man, and shows no regret for dismissing Eva, despite knowing that if he

had not then she may still have been alive. He merely stated that, ?If you

don?t come down sharply on some of these people they will soon be asking for

the earth?.Mr

Birling always seems to want his own way and when he does not get it he resorts

to threatening behaviour which clearly would make him unpopular with the

audience.? 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, cold

know it all of a man.? I think that Mr

Birling?s character is portrayed in this way because then it does n?t matter

that his part in Eva?s death was so small and understandable we dislike him

just as much or perhaps even more than the other characters.Sheila

was the second person that the Inspector turned on and her part in the run up

to Eva?s death shows her in an unfavourable light as she turned on Eva because

she was jealous of her. Sheila wrongfully used her position as an important

customer to turn Eva out of a 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, jealous and malicious person you get

the impression as she begins to talk that that is quite a harsh view of her and

that although she does have bad characteristics she isn?t really as bad as you

first think her to be.? She shows

herself to be honest admitting straight away all that she had done, that she

caught sight of her smiling at the assistant and? ?I was furious with her?.Sheila

does show empathy for Eva which is more than her father, Mr Birling did. 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 and has now been

punished severely simply by knowing the implications her temper and jealousy


was the third person to come under the spotlight. 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 himself as when he first saw her he said that she

?gave me a glance that was nothing more than a cry for help?. I believe that he

did genuinely care for Eva but he didn?t love her as he admitted that: ?I

didn?t feel about her as she felt about me?.Gerald

was fairly honest admitting his part in Eva?s life fairly readily.? He had good manners and said the right thing

but it is hard 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 rather narrow minded old-fashioned person.? He would never marry Eva because she was of

the wrong class.? In a way you could say

that he simply used Eva for his own needs.?

Although he denies this saying,?

?I want you to understand that I didn?t install her there to make love

to her !?? However he did make her happy

for a few months and you have to give credit for that.? He does show signs of guilt, ?She didn?t

blame me at all I wish to god she had now.?

Maybe I would have felt better about it.?? Although Gerald did not love Eva he did have feeling towards her

as he stresses to the Inspector, ?I?m rather more upset by this business than I

probably appear to be?. I don?t believe that it is possible to know whether Eva

meeting Gerald was a good thing as we will never know whether the happiness

Gerald gave Eva was worth the pain and misery she must have felt when he left

her and whether that was responsible for pushing her to the edge.The

next person that the Inspector interrogates is Mrs Birling.? Before Mrs Birling the Inspector had been

talking to each person in order of when they has 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 which prejudice Mrs Birling against her.Mrs

Birling was adamant that she did, ?Nothing I am ashamed of?. 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 to a certain extent.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 remorse for Eva at all.? She

was keen to direct the blame away from herself claiming that Eva, ?only had

herself to blame?.? Throughout the play she

patronises her children for example saying to Sheila, ?You are behaving like a

hysterical child tonight?. From the start Mrs Birling seems to be keen to,

?keep up appearances?, in front of the Inspector which makes you think of her

as a rather fake as well as callous, cold, hard and somewhat dishonest person.Mrs

Birling does dig herself and her son into a hole 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

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

had no stable relationship with Eva as Gerald die.? 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 father?s office in order to support Eva.? However he was very truthful and admitted

straight away that,? ?I got it from the


also comes to light that Eric is also an alcoholic something that he had

managed to keep from his parents for a number of months.? This shows him as dishonest, weak 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 divert the blame away from himself.? Either way it does show that he is not very

loyal to his family.? Although Eric does

come across as weak and immature you cannot hate him after all he was not a malicious

person like his parents were.Eva was the last person who we know was involved she

committed suicide. I do think that she must take some blame after all she was

the one ultimately took her own life.?

She had some control over her fate as well. If she hadn?t caused trouble

at the factory, smiled when Sheila tried on the unsuitable hat, become a

mistress to Gerald, slept with Eric or used the Birling name she may not have

been lying on a slab with burnt out insides.?


Priestly deliberately makes Eva out to be the helpless victim in order for the

others deeds to seem much worse.? I

don?t think that you can fully blame Eva for her death, as she did not know how

things would work out.? There

is no right or wrong person to blame for Eva?s death.? Each person had a little to ?help? Eva make up her mind to commit

suicide so in my opinion they each 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 am sure that other

people have done much worse things with no consequences so perhaps it wasn?t

fair that these people had to take any blame for Eva?s death.


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