Goole doesn’t care Essay
Paper type: Essay
Words: 1607, Paragraphs: 18, Pages: 7
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The inspector calls to discuss the suicide of Eva Smith/Daisy Renton, quite a few working class people used many names in those times, this was because it would be easier to get jobs. Each member of the family had something to do with her suicide; it is unravelled as the play goes on. The inspector has to find a chain of evidence to make them guilty. Even though no one can be to blame legally for a suicide, however they can be morally guilty.
Birling sits the inspector down and offers him a glass of port, but he doesn’t accept any hospitality from him. Furthermore Birling tries to impress the inspector by telling him that he was an alderman and a magistrate, but Goole doesn’t care. The inspector goes on to explain what happened to Eva Smith. “She’d swallowed a lot of disinfectant. Burnt her inside out.” Preistley portrays a horrid image of the girl’s death to make the audience feel remorseful and pitiful.
He also describes her as pretty, lively, big dark eyes, and soft brown hair.
The inspector starts to question Mr Birling over the death. After seeing a photograph of Eva, He admits to sacking her for setting up a strike to get slightly higher wages. He thinks he did the right thing, and he says that he paid his workers the usual rates, and he couldn’t see that he had any responsibility for what happened to her afterwards. But Priestley thinks differently, as he shows by what the inspectors says; “what happened to her then may have determined what happened to her afterwards, and whatever happened to her afterwards may have driven her to suicide.” Birling is a very insensitive man; he shows no remorse for what happened.
The next person to be interviewed is Shelia who is a pretty girl in her early twenties, is very pleased with life and quite excited. The inspector reveals that Eva luckily found a job at Milwards, he goes on to say that she again was sacked. Shelia (feeling agitated) begins to realise that she was to blame. She started to explain that she was looking at herself in the mirror when she caught Eva smiling at the assistant in a way that she found offensive.
Shelia was furious and told the manager that if he didn’t sack her, Mrs Birling would close the account with them. Unlike Birling, Shelia accepted that she was wrong and felt sorry for what she did. It is obvious that she regrets what she done with regard to Eva claiming that, ” if I could help her now I would.” This makes you feel less anger for Sheila who now feels terribly guilty for Eva and has now been punished severely simply by knowing the consequences of her actions.
The inspector had now finished with Shelia. It was Gerald’s turn in the order of how the events happened. After a misunderstanding between Gerald and Shelia, he admitted he knew Daisy Renton. And after Gerald sitting in and listening to the awful thing Shelia had done, she was now determined to find out how he played a part in this ordeal. Gerald had met Daisy at the local variety theatre – known as the haunt of prostitutes.
He described her as looking young, fresh, and charming. Gerald soon fell in love with her and when he found out she didn’t have a penny to her name: he let her stay in his friend’s flat. Gerald often visited her and gave her a lot of pleasure, he soon ended the affair, as he had to go away on business, he had given her money to help her out for a few months. Eva was obviously upset inside as Gerald gave her a life she could never have.
Gerald goes for a walk to get over the news of Daisy’s death, whilst Mrs Sybil Birling has denied knowing Eva after being shown a photograph of her. She is described as being forty years old, a rather cold woman and her husband’s social superior. Mrs B is going to be interviewed out of sequence of events, because Priestley wants to show what an arrogant fool she is. The inspector has made a big impression on Shelia, who is now acting like him by summing up the chain of events, and telling Mrs B that there is no point covering everything up. Mrs B finally admits that she known Eva, who came to the Brumley women’s charity organisation for help, as she was pregnant.
Mrs B was the chairwoman and turned away a helping hand for the girl, because Eva used the name Birling which Mrs B wasn’t happy with. She didn’t show any guilt and said that the father was entirely to blame. Mrs B condemns her son Eric, as he is the father of the child, “he ought to be dealt with very severely.” No regret is felt and it seems that she is totally unmoved by the whole incident, only caring when she discovers that her own son is involved. Sybil is very patronising and sees herself as socially superior to those of a lower class. She finally realises that Eric was the father and is shocked, Eric has arrived, and the audience is left in suspense as the scene ends.
Everyone is staring at Eric, the inspector asks him a question and he tells the story of his involvement with Eva. He had met her at the same bar as Gerald and had got drunk and took her back to the lodgings. Eva didn’t really want him to come in but he was going to start a row, so she let him in and they made love. This became frequent. It was casual for Eric and Eva having sex but Gerald and Eva’s relationship had feelings. Eva became pregnant and they didn’t want marriage, as they didn’t love each other, so Eric insisted on giving her money to help her. She stopped accepting it as she realised it was stolen. Eric had admitted taking ï¿½50 from his father’s office. This was a lot of money in those times and his parents were enraged.
The inspector concludes his visit with Priestley’s message: “we don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire, blood, and anguish.” The inspector leaves. Priestley’s is saying that if we don’t care about everyone in society, then it will end up in conflict and war. Priestley also suggests that the older generation won’t change, but the younger generation accept that there needs to be a change.
After he has left, the family begin to consider the consequences. Mr and Mrs B are only concerned about their image and are blaming their children for everything. They start to wonder whether he really was an inspector, Birling and Sybil get excited as they thinks it makes all the difference, but Sheila and Eric understand that they are all morally guilty for Eva and that it doesn’t matter who the man was.
Gerald returns, and is certain that the man wasn’t a policeman. Just to make sure, Birling phones the police force and confirms that wasn’t an inspector Goole. Eric still shows guilt along with Sheila but the others are not having any of it, they are ignoring the fact that they are dealing with a dead girl. Gerald is trying to get out of the guilt by assuming that Goole had showed them different photographs (which is absurd) and that the girl was not dead, and even if the girl didn’t die they still did wrong. Gerald phones the infirmary to see, and he is told that there hasn’t been a suicide there for months.
The parents and Gerald decide that they want to celebrate and assume they are all now off the hook, while Eric and Sheila maintain that nothing has changed even if the girl wasn’t dead. Another message from priestly came out from Shelia: ” Everything we said happened really had happened. If it didn’t end tragically, then that’s lucky for us. But it might have done.” Birling hasn’t got a clue; they think it’s a joke.
Yet the telephone rings sharply. Mr Birling answers it, then tells the family that it was the police, he says a girl has committed suicide and is on her way to the infirmary, and that an inspector is on his way to ask some questions. “They stare guiltily and dumbfounded.” The whole scenario starts again.
In conclusion, I think that the person to blame most is Sybil Birling. She was selfish and heartless leaving Eva to give up on herself. Eva had that little bit of hope left going to the organisation, but Mrs B turns away her helping hand. Maybe Arthur had triggered it off but Mrs B could have sorted out things out if she understood why Eva had used the name Birling. What makes you feel more anger for Sybil is that she thinks it wasn’t her fault at all: she had no guilt whatsoever.
Although I think it would be unfair to blame just Mrs Birling entirely, as each character played a part to the death of Eva smith. It would be more logical to blame society and the way they lived in those times, no real crime was committed, and it is more a case of social conscience. I think families like the Birlings need to aid others with their actions, not just themselves.