Monologue from Sheila Birling
I feel extremely responsible for the horrid tragedy of what had happened to that young lady. On the other hand at the time it took place I was in a furious temper; I had tried on this dress, and well.... it just didn’t suit me at all! Then the girl- had tried on the dress as if she was wearing it. And it just suited her. She was the right type for it. She was very pretty too- with big dark eyes. I caught sight of the girl smiling at Miss Francis- as if to say, “doesn’t she look awful”- and I was absolutely furious. That is when it all happened. I lost all sense of what was right and let anger and jealousy fill me up to the direst cruelty. I said without second thought of consideration to the manager, “this girl had been very impertinent”. You see it didn’t seem so bad at the time. She was pretty and looked as if she could take care of herself. Well now I know well- ‘never judge a book by its cover’. However now it is too late! I cannot even go back to say, “sorry Eva Smith”, never mind helping her, thought if I could now that I know the great, vile grief I helped to cause this girls death, I would do all I can for her. Oh why had this had to happen? I feel I can never go to Milward’s again- I noticed even this afternoon- I suppose some of them remember. I can remember that very night when the inspector came to our home, inspector Goole. He seemed a bit curious at first and said we had killed this girl Eva Smith. I didn’t really recognise the girl or heard her name before. I was astonished to know farther had something to do with this. Inspector Goole then came over to me enquiringly as he thought I was involved. I looked at the photograph; I just noticed I knew this girl. I felt horrible knowing that this girl Eva Smith got fired from her job because of me. I didn’t realise at the time. Just because of that silly dress. I can’t comprehend why the others confidently assume that what had just happened has no meaning what so ever to...
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