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The Ways Characters Contribute To The Death In An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls had written by J.B.Priestley In 1912, the story happened on the eve of the first World War (1914). All the characters in the story have responsibility for Eva’s death. In 1907, Britain, France and Russia formally established a military alliance, corresponding to the German, Austrian and Italian lines, which further deepened the tension in Europe. Countries began an unprecedented arms race. Because of strong military demand and economic growth, Arthur Birling(capitalist) said in the film daughter’s marriage is perfect time, because it is in the stage of economic growth, and the strike led by Eva is just after Arthur’s company received an unprecedented large order, which is estimated to be related to military supplies.

From Mr Birling and his wife, you can probably see everything you want to see from the capitalist family, the greedy and selfish entrepreneur who reaches for power and money. After the whole event, the most worrying thing is that his title has disappeared, pretending to be a charity but with no sympathy in her heart. When the inspector asked Mr Birling if he remember Eva,He said “Yes, I do. She was one of my employees and then I discharged her.” Since he remembered that he fired Eva, and didn’t think it was important, he didn’t care, just thought it was a small thing. And he did nothing wrong. “And they suddenly decided to ask for more money. They were averaging about twenty-two and six, which was neither more nor less than is paid generally in our industry. They wanted the rates raised so that they could average about twenty-five shillings a week. I refused, of course.” He said this to show that he remembers Eva clearly. He fired her because of money. The rise and suppression of women’s rights have been mentioned many times in the film. Facing Arthur’s insulting language, Eva said, “You won’t talk to me like this if I am a man, you won’t pay me so little if I am a man.’ But women’s strikes also show the rise of women’s rights. This was the greed and exploitation of the capitalists. At that time, the environment was the result of the industrial revolution, which was completely enjoyed by the capitalists. There was no universal welfare in the society. In order to oppress the rural population to work in factories, the capitalists used various ways to deprive the farmers of their land. Therefore, tens of millions of rural girls like EVA had to leave their hometown and suffer from the capitalists in factories in big cities exploitation.

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Gerald and Eric should be compared. They are the same sons of rich families, and they will inherit the family business in the future. In the story, they are quite different. Gerald knows what he wants. He doesn’t love Sheila at all, but he ‘chooses’ to marry Sheila for the family’s business interests and knows to do the right thing at the right time. He is very flattering, business minded and tough. He speaks and defends for his future father-in-law in many places in the film. He should be several years older than Eric, but at this time, he totally mingles with the secular world and becomes a smart capitalist. His little son is almost in opposition to his father in the film. He is cowardly and timid, impulsive and wants to fight against his family authority, but he is helpless like Sheila, family education is closely related to personal growth. “All right-I did for a time. Nearly any man would have done.”The biggest difference between them is reflected when everyone realizes that Eva is not dead. Gerald is completely integrated with his father-in-law and mother-in-law. He is immersed in joy. He has completely forgotten Eva. First out of love, then because of practical reasons such as class differences, they can’t achieve the right results, so they have to break up. He doesn’t care about Eva’s comfort at all. He only cares about his own gain and loss. He told Sheila immediately that he wants to win her back, which is a typical reaction of a smart businessman. Eric, the youngest son, is still in a state of resentment and can’t extricate himself from the huge pressure. He is an emotional person, but has no business brain and decisive personality inherited from his father. Even if Eva is a very beautiful and considerate girl, the two men (Arthur’s son-in-law and son) who have been in love with her think that this relationship can not be sustained because of class reasons. People’s feelings should give way to the class system, and people’s kindness should also be subject to social conditions In this movie, the system and stereotypes that are so contrary to human nature are satirized.

In the scene of Sheila and her mother trying on clothes, it can be seen that Sheila should be severely disciplined by her mother when she was young, and she even has no right to choose clothes by herself. She is in a period of rebellion and totally opposes her mother’s instructions. As long as her mother says it, she never stops. She should not particularly like the yellow dress, because her mother says it, so she tried on this dress. She just wants to try it. At this time, she is extremely sensitive and lacks self-confidence. Any signal will be interpreted as malicious behavior. This girl is kind-hearted in nature. From the expression and action of greeting her fiance at the beginning of the film, we can see that she should really love others. Although there was a mistake in the middle, that is, she said to her mother, ‘there was a time when I thought this (engagement) would never happen.’ this time refers to the time when her fiance cheated and was with Eva. There is a point that Eva doesn’t understand why she smiles when she looks at Sheila’s fitting, and this smile is just seen by Eva through the mirror.

In conclusion, for these people who made Eva suicide,Mr Birling fired Eva, because women’s right, Eva was adopted by Gerald and became his mistress, and Shelia was in a kind of depression and anger and called for experience fired her,etc. Five people, five stories, they are guilty, but when they hear the heroine’s ‘suicide’ experience, they are very sad, very remorse. They also called to confirm that they were relieved when they learned that no girl had died. They all have enough conscience, so they did not lie or conceal when communicating with the inspector. In front of their own conscience, they feel they are responsible for the death of the girl .

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The Ways Characters Contribute To The Death In An Inspector Calls. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from
“The Ways Characters Contribute To The Death In An Inspector Calls.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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