Gerald did not know Eva as Eva but as Daisy Renton. She felt that Gerald was interested and friendly towards her. She began telling him that she would soon have to leave the dingy back room, as she could not afford to keep it for any longer. They began to have a relationship and Gerald had to end their affair, as he had to go away on business. Gerald told the Inspector, she was very gallant about it, and she knew that it could not last forever.
“She told me she’d been happier than she’d ever been before – but that she knew it couldn’t last – hadn’t expected it to last. She didn’t blame me at all.
I wish to God she had now. Perhaps I’d feel better about it. “Gerald starts to show sympathy towards Eva. He soon wishes that he could have done more to help Eva, like carried on giving her money or helped her find somewhere to live.
He wished he could have helped, in some way or another. Mrs Birling is member of the Brumley Women’s Charity Organisation. The charity to which women in distress can ask for help in various forms. Eva approached the charity, she asked for help but not as Eva Smith or Daisy Renton but as Mrs Birling. This is one of the reasons why the appeal was declined.
“Yes, I think it was simply a piece of gross impertinence – quite deliberate – naturally that was one of the things that prejudiced me against her case.” She was disgusted that “a girl of that status” would presume to use the name Birling. Her lack of regard for people shows that she is only the head of the organisation because she wants power. Not because she cares for people, and therefore she does not deserve this position. Mrs Birling is a prime example of women during this period. Like her husband, she is deliberately blind to anything she does not wish to see.
She believes that she is superior, due to wealth and thinks this qualifies her to be respected, held in awe and judgements on peoples lives. Mrs Birling was being prejudiced against her case. Mrs Birling didn’t care about Eva Smith or her involvement with the suicide, and showed it to the Inspector, Sheila and the rest on the family. “… I did nothing that I’m ashamed of or that won’t bear investigation.” Mrs Birling doesn’t think she has done anything wrong, but she may have caused Eva to think little of herself. Mrs Birling shows that there is a barrier between the rich and the poor, those who lie and those that do all good.
She acts like this with Eva. Eric met Eva in the Palace bar, where they drank, and talked, she became Eric’s lover. When Eva became pregnant, Eric asked her to marry him, but Eva knew straight away he didn’t love her. “… Said I didn’t love her – all that much. In a way, she treated me – as if I was a kid. She thought I was nearly as old as she was.” Eric realised she had no money, no job and decided to give her money for her and the baby, but after a while she started to refuse it. “It’s what happened to the girl and what we all did to her that matters.”
Eric realises that he may be to blame for Eva’s death, but then recognises that he is not to blame – they are all to blame. Eric doesn’t care where Eva came from, and disgusts his mother when she realises what he had done, asking a lower class person to marry him. When Priestley introduces the Inspector, we can see that Priestley has a great distaste towards this type of high-powered arrogance much like Mr Birling. This most apparent in the Inspectors language and mannerism towards the Birlings. “You helped but didn’t start it. (Rather savagely to Birling) You started it”
“(Cutting in with authority) He must wait his turn” The Inspector, was very crafty, as he had a plan to make everyone’s guilty conscious come to light. “You see, we have to share something. If there’s nothing else we’ll have to share our guilt. ” The Inspector performs a very important speech that covers all of Priestley’s beliefs. The speech is very powerful and dramatic. “… 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 it in fir and blood and anguish. ”
The use of phrases “we and us” and “fire and blood and anguish” are memorable phrases as they involve the audience, making them think about society and Priestley’s views. In addition, the use of three is used to emphasise points that should help the Birlings realise that they need to change they attitudes towards other people. Without being introduced into the story Eva Smith comes across as very moral and kind. This makes her very easy to like and the Birlings and Croft very easy to hate making them almost weak villains. Considering all of this, you strangely we never meet Eva Smith or even see the picture that is being passed around of her.
This creates a lot of tension but surprisingly Eva Smith may not be simply a person. Eva Smith could be the symbolisation of the homeless, poor and desperate for work, the thousands around Britain or indeed the world. This is used as an important message, even tough Eva Smith is dead there are many other Eva Smiths or John Smiths out there needing our help. The Inspector is showing that no matter how rich they are, whether they are high class, or lower class, employer or employee, everyone in the Birling family contributed to Eva Smith’s death.
Without thinking, the suspects told the Inspector what he wanted to know, without any force. No one knew that the Inspector was a fake, until Gerald put two and two together. Then one by one the suspects realised that they were conned, into telling the truth. The play expresses a lot of meaning to the reader. It shows them how a society is spilt into many groups. How the rich don’t associate with the poor and asks why does this happen to everyone, if they are all the same? The book shows how the society felt towards one and another in the 1912’s, how people class, people into groups. “Girls of the class”
Many people then and now, use their power, respect and wealth to get what they want. “You know of course that my husband was Lord Mayor only two years ago and that he’s still a magistrate. ” There is a clear contrast between younger and older generations. Priestley makes it clear because the elders (Mr and Mrs Birling) seem stubborn, selfish and do not seem to accept their role in society. The younger generation (Sheila and Gerald) seems to have morals, and appear to be more open-minded about change The story points this out to the reader, and shows the wall separating society of those days.
It is telling us that there will always be people who use their power, wealth, and social position to get what they want, and if they don’t get it they will act dumb, just like the Birlings. The Inspector approached them, question them, and at first they denied but slowly the truth came out. This happens in society today. Our newspapers report to us about fights, love, break-ups, and the famous being seen in public. These people are seen to us as the “upper class”. There is a wall between people in our world, just like in 1912. However, the rift is more apparent today then that of a few decades ago.
People like the Royal family, politicians, singers, actors, sports men and many other famous people, divide themselves from us. Three societies’ exist today, the rich, middle class, and the poor. Didn’t God make all people equal, so why has the world become like this? This may be one of the points Priestly is trying to express through his life and his novels. He express that all people are equal and are all one. 2 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one?
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What is the message of the play?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-is-the-message-of-the-play-8710-new-essay