an inspector calls - Does Eric Birling rape Eva Smith? - Literature Stack Exchange
We will write a custom essay sample on Eric and Mrs Birlings relationship that he stole the money he was going to give Eva Smith, He is the father of the baby. It is highly likely that the "force" meant Eric raped Eva. The Inspector says to Eric that he "just used her for the end of one of his drunken evenings". Eric also. relationship between bosses and workers, saying that a man 'has to mind his own business and She was offended because Eva Smith called herself 'Mrs Birling' .. and the younger generation take the Inspector's message in different ways.
Really, the things you girls pick up these days! Sybil has snobbish opinions that people should speak and behave 'properly', not doing so would make her look down upon them. Social and historical context Food was rationed during World War Two The hardships of wartime challenged the class structure in Britain.
Due to rationing of food and clothes, people of all classes were eating and dressing the same. They were also fighting side by side, and so class barriers came down. Sybil Birling, like her husband Arthur, represents a type of middle-class snobbery that existed prior to the World Wars. Priestley hoped that these sorts of attitudes would die out, and uses Mrs Birling to show how they can lead to cold and thoughtless behaviour.
Analysing the evidence quote Secondly, I blame the young man who was the father of the child she was going to have. If, as she said, he didn't belong to her class, and was some drunken young idler, then that's all the more reason why he shouldn't escape.
Sheila imagines that Eva laughed at her disparagingly and so "punishes" her by having her fired. Sybil also criticises Eva for appearing proud and putting on airs and graces, and for being "impertinent" rather than being meek and grateful to her social superiors.
At the end of the play, Gerald suggests that Eva Smith may not have been the same person but rather a collective personification of all the different working-class women that the family had exploited, invented by Goole to make the family feel guilty. Yet the final phone call, announcing that a police inspector is shortly to arrive at the Birlings' house to investigate the suicide of a young girl, leaves open the possibility that Eva Smith really did exist after all.
Arthur Birling[ edit ] Arthur Birling is described as "a heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties", husband of Sybil, and father of Sheila and Eric Birling. He represents the capitalist ruling class, repeatedly describing himself with pride as a "hard-headed businessman", and the head of a patriarchal family structure, and is arguably the main subject of Priestley's social critique. He describes himself and his family as an upper class family. Dominant, arrogant, self-centred, and morally blind, he is insistent throughout about his lack of responsibility for Eva's death and quotes his economic justification for firing her as being the importance of keeping his labour costs low and quelling dissent, which he says is standard business practice.
Although he is authoritative and has risen to a position of economic and social prominence, he inadvertently reveals his social rank to be lower than that of his wife's when he compliments the cook right at the start of the play, and by his continual need to assert his social importance.
His status as an alderman and former Lord Mayor of Brumley is repeated several times in the play, with increasing comic effect. Early in the play, he also makes a series of thoroughly-explained and justified predictions about the future world, all of which the audience knows will not come true, such as describing the Titanic as "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable" and saying that "the Germans don't want war".
He also speaks to Gerald about his possible appearance on the next honors list, hoping to receive a knighthood. For this reason, he must avoid a scandal at all costs, in order to maintain a good public image. He appears pleased at the economic and social cachet brought by his daughter's engagement to Gerald Croft, and resents Goole's intrusion on the family.
Relationships - An Inspector Calls - English Literature Revision
He remains unaffected by the details of Eva's death, and his own concerns appear to be retaining his social standing, avoiding public embarrassment by the leaking of such a scandal, insisting that Eric accounts for and repays the stolen company money and that Sheila should 're-consider' her relationship with Gerald in-order for him to maintain a promised Croft-Birling merger.
She is her husband's "social superior" and is keen to show him the correct etiquette that is expected from an upper-middle-class family. As the leader of a women's charitable organisation, she assumes a social and moral superiority over Inspector Goole, whose questioning style she frequently refers to as "impertinent" and "offensive".
Like her husband, she refuses to accept responsibility for the death of Eva Smith, and seems more concerned with maintaining the family's reputation, even going so far as to lie and deny recognition of the photograph of Eva. She fearlessly expresses her prejudices against working-class women, like Eva, whom she accuses of being immoral, dishonest, and greedy.
It is Eva's use of the assumed name "Birling" that makes Sybil turn her away from her charity and she doesn't see why she did this until it is too late. Also, she seems detached from the rest of the family as she does not realise Eric's alcohol problem either she's blind to it or fails to accept it and still insists on unsuccessfully covering it up around the Inspector.
She is around 50 years old, as mentioned in the pre-play stage directions, highlighting she belongs to the older generation. Sheila Birling[ edit ] Sheila is the Birlings' elder child. She is described as a "pretty girl in her early twenties", delighted about her engagement to Gerald Croft.
She starts out as a playful, self-centred girl who loves attention. She also knows of Eric Birling's heavy drinking. Throughout the play, she becomes the most sympathetic family member, showing remorse upon hearing the news of her part in the girl's downfall, and attempting to encourage the family to accept responsibility for their part in Eva's death.
Despite continual criticism from her father, she becomes more rebellious toward her parents, supporting her brother against them and assisting Goole in his interrogations. At the end of the play, Sheila is much wiser.
She can now judge her parents and Gerald from a new perspective, but the greatest change has been in herself: The Sheila who had a girl dismissed from her job for a trivial reason has given way to one who acknowledges the wrongdoing of herself and her family. She represents the younger generation's break from the exploitative behaviour of her class.
Eric Birling[ edit ] He is the Birlings' younger child, often presented as awkward and embarrassed. Eric is revealed to have made Eva Smith pregnant as well as to have stolen some money from his father's business to support Eva although she refuses the money once she knows it is stolen.
An alcoholic, his drinking habits are known by everyone except his mother who wants to think of him as a child, and not accept that he is no longer her innocent child but a grown man.
After the Inspector leaves, he and Sheila are the only two who feel guilty over Eva's death. At the beginning of the play, Eric is shown as a rebellious young man who is very full of himself; however, towards the end of the play, his true personality is revealed. By the end of the story, Eric has learned his lesson and feels as guilty as Sheila does for his part in Eva Smith's death.
He feels as if he cannot talk to his family, especially his father, about his problems - "You are not the kind of father that a chap could go to when he's in trouble" - so he bottles them up inside himself. He is willing to take responsibility for Eva's death. Gerald is revealed to have known Eva and installed her as his mistress, becoming "the most important person in her life", before ending the relationship.
After the revelation of his affair, he is not blamed as heavily as the other characters Sheila commends him for his honesty and for initially showing Eva compassion, even though he is shown as cowardly and thoughtless for taking advantage of a vulnerable woman. He is caused to confess as soon as he shouts out in shock at hearing the name he had known Eva by Daisy Rentonallowing the Inspector to investigate Gerald's involvement in Eva's life.
Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. Get Access Eric and Mrs Birlings relationship during the play An Inspector Calls Essay Sample In the play Eric has a lot to confess, so his confession is very tensing for both the audience and the actors on screen. Eric is known as the chief culprit in the play because he played the part of making The Girl pregnant.
At the end of Act 2 Mrs. This has caused suspense both on and off stage, because now the audience would be wondering why she used that name and if she heard it from somewhere or if Eric is the father but Mrs.
Eric and Mrs Birlings relationship during the play An Inspector Calls Essay Sample
Tension mounts when Mrs. Birling thinks a lot of her son and thinks he cannot do anything wrong: Birling has now learnt something new about her son and she is now incredibly shocked.
In this act we also learn that The Girl was offered money by the man that got her pregnant and that the money was stolen. Birling is full of shock. If at this moment the audience have figured out the father is Eric then they are probably wandering where he got the money and how he got it the audience too could be very shocked by learning this, because Mr and Mrs Birling gives the audience the expression that the have bought their kids up in a very strict environment.
Nearer to the end of Act 2 there is more tension for the audience because now they are probably guessing that Eric is the father. They are thinking this because Mrs Birling is blaming the whole thing on the young man: Birling gives him suggestions: She says this line with sudden alarm which is showing us that she has just worked out what the inspector has told Sheila to do. When Eric comes back the front door slams and he walks in looking extremely pale and distressed this could suggest to the audience that he has been out drinking and also that he could be hiding something from everyone.
A lot of tension builds up when Eric comes through the door because everyone is staring at him, they are all probably staring at him with the look of shock and surprise on their faces. The Audience will also have all their attention on Eric and forget about the other characters that are on stage to: At this moment there will probably a really bright spotlight on Eric to grab his attention and to make the beginning of the scene really dramatic.
To add to the tension Eric is the first person to speak: