An Inspector Calls Questions and Answers
by J. B. Priestley

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"We are responsible for each other"says the inspector. In what ways are the characters responsible for Eva's death in An Inspector Calls?

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The other characters of the play are responsible for Eva's death in a number of ways. Arthur Birling fired Eva two years before because she was part of group who were organizing a strike to get better wages. Sheila Birling admits she had Eva fired as a clerk because she thought Eva had laughed at her while she was trying on a dress. Gerald Croft then tells how Eva had been his mistress for a while before he broke it off. Mrs. Birling tells how she used her influence to keep her charitable organization from helping poor, pregnant Eva, who was going by Daisy at that time. Eric Birling admits he got Eva pregnant and was giving her money that he had stolen from his family. Eva refused to accept it any more once she found out that Eric had stolen the money. All of these characters showed indifference to Eva's plight at the very least, but it was certainly more than just that. The older Birlings are snobs who have no compassion for the lower classes, and each of them tries to justify their cold and callous treatment of Eva. The younger Birlings are changed after Eva's death, suggesting that there's hope the younger generation will be more compassionate and caring than their parents.

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