Of course he is to blame in a way as he sacked her from the steady job, which started the domino effect and therefore Eva’s downward fall; because of his action, she had to find a new employment, which brought her into contact with Sheila. (I think that only unconscious blame can be put to him, because he didn’t know that the girl would commit suicide). Sheila Birling, I think is partially responsible for the death as she got Eva Smith sacked from her second job, which was at a clothes shop called Milward’s.
Before this job Eva had been working on the streets for two months because she had no other job and both her parents were dead. Eva Smith also loved this job as it was what she loved, clothes. I think that Sheila was slightly more responsible for the girls’ death than her father, because although the same principles are involved, the issues are slightly different. One day Sheila was in Milward’s when Eva Smith was working there. Sheila was trying on a dress and said that she wasn’t the right person for the type of dress.
Then Eva came in and held the dress up to herself and it looked great. Then when Sheila held it up to herself again she caught a glimpse of Eva laughing and she was furious. She therefore made a formal complaint and blackmailed the manager, saying that if Eva wasn’t sacked she would get her family to take their account elsewhere, ‘ I went to the manager at Milwards and I told him that if they didn’t get rid of that girl, I’d never go near the place again and I’d persuade mother to close our account with them. ‘ Eva Smith then was unfortunately sacked.
I think that Sheila abused her position in society to get her own way, and that her reasons were petty and childish. Eva Smith’s chances of getting a good a job as the previous now were pretty slim. Because of Sheila’s complaint, Eva was left unemployed and so therefore with no money and no friends or family that could support her financially and emotionally. Also, the girl’s moral must have become even lower than before. However, Sheila did take responsibility for her actions far better than her father did. She did a bad thing, and she finally knew and understood that.
She then admitted, to the Inspector, that she feels and felt really bad about what she had done, ‘but I felt rotten about it at the time and I feel a lot worse now. ‘ She’s the one character that stood out and said she felt bad about what she’d done. Most of the other characters tried to deny the fact that they did anything wrong and that they are not to blame. Sheila admitted what she had done not only to everyone else but also to herself. She finally had come to terms with what she had done. She spoke a rhetorical question to show this, ‘So I’m really to blame?
‘ It is not really a question to the inspector because she’s not sure. She also accepted the responsibility in a way that was far more courageous than some of the others in the play. She was not at all pleased but she knew she had to face up to her actions and her part in the death of Eva. She felt much stronger guilt and remorse than the others, which varies her from the other characters (apart from Eric who felt guilt and accepted responsibility to a certain extent). This slightly counteracts her actions although nothing can excuse what she did, ‘Don’t you understand? And if I could help her now, I would,’.