An Inspector Calls Themes - Social Responsibility

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  • Social  Responsibility
    • Mr Birling refuses to take responsibility for others as he says "If we were all responsible for everything  that happened to everybody we'd had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn't it?"
    • Like her husband, Mrs Birling does not want to take responsibility for Eva's death when she says "In the circumstances, I think I was justified" and "But I accept no blame for it at all"
    • Sheila accepts responsibility for Eva's death but knows that she is not the only one responsible, which is suggested by "I know I'm to blame - and I'm desperately sorry - but I can't believe - I won't believe - it's simply my fault"
    • Mr Birling refers to community as "community and all that nonsense" and says that it is like being "mixed up like bees in a hive" which shows how he dislikes being associated with other people in the community
    • While talking to the younger generation, Gerald and Eric, Mr Birling says "A man has to make his own way - has to look after himself - and his family too" which implies that he thinks people should only be responsible for their own families and no one else
    • The Inspector's final speech is all about social responsibility and how "there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us ... all intertwined with our lives"
    • Eric accepts that he is responsible for Eva's death but is also angry at what his mother did when he says "You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely, but I can't. Nor can mother"
    • Mrs Birling thinks that the young man that got Eva pregnant is "entirely responsible" and is "compelled to confess in public his responsibility" but regrets saying this when she finds out that it is Eric


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