An Inspector Calls Collective Responsibility Essay

The act of killing oneself, or of losing oneself entirely, is central to the play’s events.The play’s predicament is the supposed death of a girl named Eva Smith, or Daisy Renton.Gerald, too, understands that his relationship with Eva/Daisy has caused her pain, and that that pain might have brought her to suicide.

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He interrogates the Birlings and Gerald, and he wants them to admit culpability for Eva/Daisy’s death.

Further, he wants them to learn what they have done wrong, and to change.

But if, the playwright implies, the dead person at the close of the play is the same person with whom each character has interacted, then their guilt is no longer individual, but instead collective, although only Sheila seems to understand this fully.

Priestley leaves this question open as the play ends.

Arthur is more concerned with the family’s good name, and Sybil believes that in denying Eva/Daisy charity, she did what any person in her position should have done.

Eric feels some version of Sheila’s guilt, but his drunkenness shades his emotions somewhat.Arthur Birling has convened a dinner for the engagement of his daughter, Sheila, to her boyfriend, Gerald Croft.Arthur and his wife Sybil seem happy, although Sybil is reserved at the meal.When people do wrong, they must then explain, to themselves and others, the wrongness of their actions.Sheila is the most willing to see that she has erred, in having Eva/Daisy removed from her job at Milward’s.His “inspection,” as Sheila realizes in Act Three, is designed to encourage them to interrogate themselves, to consider when in their lives they have behaved immorally, and how they might improve as family members, friends, and citizens.An Inspector Calls is a play in three acts, set in Brumley, an English manufacturing town, in 1912.He is disturbed to know, however, that there are parts of his relationship with the girl he does not even remember, on account of steady inebriation.The play’s final, perplexing scene, in which Arthur learns that a girl really has committed suicide, again raises the question of culpability among the characters.In this way, guilt plays an important role in the Inspector’s politics.Although he does not describe his politics explicitly, he appears to be a socialist, and for him, socialism demands that human beings look out for one another, do their absolute best to avoid harming each other.

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