Theme Of Responsibility In An Inspector Calls

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In ‘An Inspector Calls’ responsibility assumes an essential position throughout the play, creating the narrative itself, and continuing to progress it as the play develops. It acts as both a plot device as well as a compliment to Priestley 's beliefs.
From the very beginning, Mr. Birling’s absence of responsibility kickstarted the forlorn situation of Eva Smith’s and her subsequent death. Arthur 's dismissal of his accountability towards her and his workers is demonstrated even before the Inspector even begins to talk in depth about the incident, with Arthur calling himself a " hard-headed businessman" that " looks after his own self". This depicts Mr. Birling as being a member of the capitalist, industrialist 'bourgeoisie ' class, which immediately paints him in a very negative light from the perspective of a 1946 post-WWII audience.
During the play, he completely denies any responsibility towards the demise of Eva Smith, just close to the end he is heard saying he 'd "offer thousands" to Eva Smith – demonstrating that he hasn 't changed that much and will 'pay off ' his part in Eva 's passing.
Sheila Birling, on the other hand, recognizes the consequences of her actions, which sets her apart from almost all her family. Sheila’s character is used to represent to the youth, a group in which Priestly is implicitly calling upon; to encourage them to adhere to his ideology, and to be prepared to better themselves and change their behaviour, as well as encourage others to do
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