At one point in the play the Inspector says: “We don’t live alone. We are all members of one body. We are responsible for each other.” How successfully is the idea of responsibility explored in this play? Focus on two or more characters.
In the play, An Inspector Calls, theme of responsibility is mainly discussed and appeared. The purpose of this story is to talk about each character’s responsibility relating to the death of a girl, Eva Smith. Also, the play explores the effect of class, age and sex on people's attitudes to responsibility, and shows how prejudice can prevent people from acting responsibly. The playwright, Priestley, used tragic event to warn the audience that they can impact the society negatively in many ways especially on those less fortunate than us.
During 1912 when play was set, the society was divided in terms of class structure. Mrs. Birling represents majority of wealth and powered woman of upper class. When Mrs. Birling encountered Eva Smith, she said she is ‘girls of that class’ and she thinks they will become a theft to steal money and food. Her use of the phrase ‘that class’ shows that she is making distance from those people in lower class. Mrs. Birling thinks that upper class people like her shouldn’t live or get close to those working class people like Eva Smith. Mrs. Birling is creating a justification for her lack of responsible towards death Eva and the working class people.
It is really critical and crucial that Mrs. Birling behaves without any feeling of responsibility when she knew that Eva Smith was pregnant at the time. However, she refused and didn’t accept her responsibility about it by saying ‘…Go and look for the father of the child. It’s his responsibility.’ We can infer that Mrs. Birling doesn’t seem like to know the father of her child is Eric. She thinks upper class shouldn’t get any type of relationship with working class like Eva Smith. She was really frightened when the fact that Eva has baby of Eric...
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