Who Was Most to Blame for the Death of Eva Smith?

2708 Words11 Pages
I think that there were many people to blame for the death of Eva Smith. I am going to highlight the character traits of each individual comparing the way they acted. All of which contributed to the death of Eva Smith. The Birling family have a high social status, being upper class and living in a large house with at least one servant. This meant that most of the family were very well brought up and, like many at the time, were brought up to be class conscious people. Mr. Birling and Mrs. Birling are no exception to this stereotype of the time. Both seem constantly aware of their hierarchy and behave in a way that suggests they have little care for others less fortunate than themselves. “A man has to make his own way” Mr. Birling says when talking to his daughters fiancé about life. Though this should not be a characteristic of Mrs. Birling, it is. Working in a charity that aims to help women in trouble, Mrs. Birling met Eva in the final weeks of her life but after hearing her distressing story had little sympathy for the girl due to the fact she was under the false name of “Mrs. Birling”. This made her very angry and biased towards Eva and her case. Using her high social status Mrs. Birling made sure that the charity turned Eva away, which, as a consequence pushed Eva to desperation. Had it been her own daughter, or even a women of a higher class, it is likely that Mrs. Birling would have considered her case more sympathetically and offered any help available. Mr. Birling too is a very class conscious person. Even when speaking to Gerald, who is a slightly higher class, Mr. Birling feels he has to prove himself. It appears that Gerald’s mother is not keen on the marriage due to the Birling’s status. However Mr. Birling tries to show off by talking of a knighthood he says he is bound to get, “Just a knighthood, of course” This shows that though Mr. Birling
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