an inspector calls - Does Eric Birling rape Eva Smith? - Literature Stack Exchange
An Inspector Calls is a play written by English dramatist J. B. Priestley, first performed in He talks about his impending knighthood and about how "a man has to look after . At the end of the play, Gerald suggests that Eva Smith may not have been His status as an alderman and former Lord Mayor of Brumley is repeated. relationship between bosses and workers, saying that a man 'has to mind his own business and look after She was offended because Eva Smith called herself 'Mrs Birling' . when hearing of Eva's death, crying 'involuntarily' 'My God!' . He feels guilt and frustration with himself over his relationship with the Eva Smith. He cries, "Oh - my God! - how stupid it all is!" as he tells his.
And I don't see why she should have been sacked just because she'd a bit more spirit than the others. Here he questions his father's decision to sack Eva Smith. He backs up his point with a well-reasoned argument. His father quickly shouts him down though.
You're beginning to pretend now that nothing's really happened at all. And I can't see it like that. This girl's still dead, isn't she? Nobody's brought her to life, have they? He asks the stark question 'This girl's still dead, isn't she? Social and historical context J B Priestley uses Eric as he does Sheila - to suggest that the young people of a post-war Britain would be the answer to a hopeful future.
With Eric he also addresses some concerns he had about the dangers of immoral behaviour.
BBC Bitesize - GCSE English Literature - Characters - AQA - Revision 5
Through Eric, Priestley shows that excessive drinking and casual relationships can have consequences. Analysing the evidence quote Whoever that chap was, the fact remains that I did what I did.
And mother did what she did. And the rest of you did what you did to her. It's still the same rotten story whether it's been told to a police inspector or to somebody else. According to you, I ought to feel a lot better - To Gerald I stole some money, Gerald, you might as well know - As Birling tries to interrupt.
I don't care, let him know. The money's not the important thing. It's what happened to the girl and what we all did to her that matters. And I still feel the same about it, and that's why I don't feel like sitting down and having a nice cosy talk.
Eric Birling How does Eric stand up to his parents in Act 3 of the play? Reveal answer down How to analyse the quotation: According to you, I ought to feel a lot better - To Gerald. I stole some money, Gerald, you might as well know - As Birling tries to interrupt.
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. 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.
An Inspector Calls - Wikipedia
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.'An Inspector Calls': Gerald Analysis
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. Gerald thinks that Goole is not a police inspector, that the family may not all be referring to the same woman and that there may not be a body. Initially he appears to be correct, and does not think the Birlings have anything to feel ashamed of or worry about.
He seems excited at the prospect of discovering the 'fake' Inspector and seems almost desperate for others to believe him. Edna[ edit ] Edna is the maid at the Birling household. The character has limited contribution in the play; however, she is the only person in the play that can provide an insight into the life of Eva Smith, a character to whom Edna has a similar working-class background. It is she who opens the door to allow the Inspector into the Birling's lives, although she is often taken for granted and treated somewhat poorly at times, as if she were not actually there.
Criticism and interpretation[ edit ] Highly successful after its first and subsequent London productions, the play is now considered one of Priestley's greatest works, and has been subject to a variety of critical interpretations. After the new wave of social realist theatre in the s and s, the play fell out of fashion, and was dismissed as an example of outdated bourgeois "drawing room" dramasand became a staple of regional repertory theatre.
Following several successful revivals including Stephen Daldry 's production for the National Theatrethe play was "rediscovered" and hailed as a damning social criticism of capitalism and middle-class hypocrisy in the manner of the social realist dramas of Shaw and Ibsen.
It has been read as a parable about the destruction of Victorian social values and the disintegration of pre-World War I English society, and Goole's final speech has been interpreted variously as a quasi-Christian vision of hell and judgement, and as a socialist manifesto.
The struggle between the embattled patriarch Arthur Birling and Inspector Goole has been interpreted by many critics as a symbolic confrontation between capitalism and socialism, and arguably demonstrates Priestley's socialist political criticism of the perceived-selfishness and moral hypocrisy of middle-class capitalist society.
While no single member of the Birling family is solely responsible for Eva's death, together they function as a hermetic class system that exploits neglected, vulnerable women, with each example of exploitation leading collectively to Eva's social exclusion, despair and suicide.
The play also arguably acts as a critique of Victorian-era notions of middle-class philanthropy towards the poor, which is based on presumptions of the charity-givers' social superiority and severe moral judgement towards the "deserving poor". The romantic idea of gentlemanly chivalry towards "fallen women" is also debunked as being based on male lust and sexual exploitation of the weak by the powerful.
In Goole's final speech, Eva Smith is referred to as a representative for millions of other vulnerable working-class people, and can be read as a call to action for English society to take more responsibility for working-class people, pre-figuring the development of the post-World War II welfare state. Productions[ edit ] An Inspector Calls was first performed in in the USSR in two theatres Kamerny Theatre in Moscow and Comedy Theatre in Leningradas a suitable venue in the United Kingdom could not be found,   due to the fact that Priestley wrote the play in one week and all the theatres in the UK had already been booked for that season.
The first Broadway production opened at the Booth Theatre on 21 October and ran until 10 January The production was staged by Cedric Hardwicke.
The play was produced and performed at the Ferdowsi Theatre in Iran in late s based on the translation by Bozorg Alavi. Daldry's concept was to reference two eras: The production is often credited with single-handedly rediscovering Priestley's works and "rescuing" him from the reputation of being obsolete and class-bound, although the production had some detractors, including Sheridan Morley  who regarded it as a gimmicky travesty of the author's patent intentions.
The success of the production since has led to a critical reappraisal of Priestley as a politically engaged playwright who offered a sustained critique of the hypocrisy of English society. Inthe play was adapted into a Bengali Indian movie by the name of Thana Theke Aschi from a Bengali adaptation of the original play of the same name. The film had gone on to be a huge commercial hit at the point of time, and is generally regarded as one of the best stories to have churned out of the Bengali film scenario of the 60s, a decade widely regarded as the golden age of Bengali films.
This was widely panned by critics.