The social conditions

There is some question as to why Gerald should have been there when he was engaged to Sheila, but he claims that Daisy was being harassed by a counsellor, Joe Meggarty. …it was nothing but a cry for help… He took her away from the bar and gave her some food . He was making a genuine attempt to help her. Later they made love, But Gerald claims ‘I didn’t install her there so I could make love to her …I didn’t ask her for anything in return’

Eventually Gerald ends the relationship because he realises the only option was to marry Daisy and he could not do this. This was because Gerald did not wan to step outside his own class. Again this shows the major social differences between now and when play was written. It shows how it was overlooked when a man stepped out of the realms of marriage and breaks his wedding vows, whereas nowadays it is frowned upon just as much as it has always been for women.

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The next person to be interviewed was Mrs. Birling. All the time she faces the inspectors questions. She is arrogant and insists on treating the inspector as an inferior. She explains that Eva Smith had visited her charity committee and asked for money as she was pregnant. Mrs. Birling is unsympathetic and says: …go and for the father of the child, it’s his responsibility… The character of Mrs. Birling can not believe that a woman of Eva Smith’s class can have deeper feelings and emotions and that once again reminds us of the social conditions of the period. …she was giving herself ridicules airs. She was claiming elaborate, fine feelings …that were simply absurd in a girl in her position…

In a sense, Mrs. Birling has the most blain because she actually turns her away from her last resource of help. In the times that the play was set, women had no social security, so they depended on organisations like Mrs. Birling’s charity, which were often corrupt, leaving the lower classes with no help at all, leaving generations of poverty. Finally Eric is interviewed. Eric is the young son of Mr. And Mrs. Birling. He too met Eva/Daisy in the Palace Bar. Eva and Eric were both a little drunk, Eric more so. Eric ended up back at Eva’s flat where he forced her to have sex with him.

…and that’s when it happened, and I didn’t even remember… When Eric realized she was pregnant with his child he took some responsibility and even stole from his father, Mr. Birling. But in the end Eva decided to end their relationship. He can be blamed for making her pregnant, but in his defence he was not in a state where he could control his own sexual urges. The inspector tells them ‘each of you helped to kill her’ and this is undoubtedly true. Each character contributes to Eva/Daisy’s downfall but there may be some which have a greater influence over her death. Mrs. Birling for example is possible the most blameworthy for her prejudice attitude towards Eva at her last source of help. The ‘squiffy’ drunk Eric is the least to blame for it was Eva who ended their relationship and Eric made an effort to take responsibility for his actions.

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