Social Responsibility in AIC

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  • Social Responsibiliy
    • Mr Birling
      • Mr Birling refuses to take any responsibility for Eva Smith’s death.
        • "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?"
        • Mr Birling dismisses the idea that we should be responsible for each other, suggesting that such a situation would be 'awkward'.
    • Eric
      • Eric shows that he takes responsibility for his actions in the final act of the play.
        • "I don't see much nonsense about it when a girl goes and kills herself. You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely, but I can't. Nor can mother. We did her in all right."
        • Eric clearly shows that he has a sense of social responsibility. Whilst Gerald and Eric's parents are enjoying being in the clear, Eric still takes the matter of Eva's death very seriously. He is even brave enough to tell his mother that she should feel responsible too.
    • Mrs Birling
      • Sybil Birling will not take any responsibility for the death of Eva Smith even after she has been questioned by the Inspector.
        • "I should think not. Eric, I'm absolutely ashamed of you."
        • In telling Eric that she is ashamed of him she shows that she has learned nothing from the Inspector’s investigation. The audience would know that she is in no position to be questioning the behaviour of anyone else given her own treatment of Eva Smith and lack of social responsibility.
    • Inspector's lessons
      • When the Inspector is questioning the Birlings.
        • "It's better to ask for the earth than to take it."
        • Here the Inspector is suggesting that it is socially irresponsible to be greedy and 'take' things without permission. This is a practice the privileged Birlings would be used to.

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