How does Priestley present Eric in An Inspector Calls? (Start of play…
How does Priestley present Eric in An Inspector Calls?
Start of play
Very unsure of himself
Tries to speak up but is often talked down by his father
Awkward and stilted behaviour
Out of control
Critical of Sheila at her engagement dinner, saying 'She's got a nasty temper sometimes'
Not quite at ease, half shy and half assertive
Relationship with Inspector
Admits having an affair with Eva
Assertive with the Inspector, he criticises Mr Birling for firing Eva Smith so suddenly
Claims that Sybil has the main responsibility and he was not necessarily in the wrong to impregnate Eva, however he agrees that his actions may have played a part in leading up to Eva's death
'You killed her... My child, your own grandchild, you killed them both, damn you, damn you'
Relationship with Eva Smith
Had an affair with Eva Smith
Made her pregnant hence her calling herself 'Mrs Birling'
Stole money from Mr Birling's safe and gave it to Eva Smith so she had something to live of
Cares about Eva Smith and does not disregard her as cheap labour
At the same time Eric and Eva were aware that the relationship would have to end as a result of being different social classes, at which point Eva went to Mrs Birling for help
By doing this he understands the importance of social class in society
End of play
Eric is a socialist
Blames it equally on everyone: shared responsibility
Reformed and stops drinking
Accepts he plays a part towards Eva's murder as he knows he did commit those actions
More able to control himself