Due to this, he fired her. His aim as a capitalist was to work towards “lower costs and higher prices” (p4) And therefore by giving higher wages, would not accomplish this plan. His actions appear to have started off the chain reaction that resulted in the suicide of Eva Smith. Birling showed no remorse at the death of Eva and his obvious connection to it, Priestley did this to turn the audience against Birling, the main capitalist of the family.
At this early point in the play the audience have probably already begun to feel this hatred because of Birling’s snobbish and blatantly incorrect opening speeches. Although Birling was not to know what he was predicting for the future would turn out to be wrong, Priestley made him sound ignorant through the technique of dramatic irony by using his knowledge of the past to make the audience resent Birling. The audience knew what really happened; making what Birling said sound stupid, due to it being so wrong, “The Germans don’t want war.
” (p6) The play was set before the First World War, but was being viewed after it. This made Birling incorrect about the war, which happened five years after setting of the play, he was also incorrect about the “unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable” Titanic, which we all know was struck by an iceberg and sank. Also Birling does not repent about Eva’s death, therefore Priestly was in the process of turning the audience against Birling, but more importantly turning them against capitalists.
Other capitalists that would have been difficult to convince to change their ways would have been the other older members of the family. Gerald, with older members of the family, did not repent at the end of the play, but rejoiced when receiving the news that Eva had apparently not died. Gerald had been involved with Eva, or Daisy, as he knew her. He had conducted an affair with her. From the way he terminated the relationship when he desired, showed that he did not really care for her, he “didn’t feel about her as she felt about me.
” (p38) Mrs Birling was also grateful of the news that she was not to blame for Eva’s death, disregarding the fact of her disgraceful behaviour, which had recently been proved to her. These points that had been made by Priestley were done in such a way to form more resent towards capitalists. The younger members of the family, Eric and Sheila, are supposed to be liked by the audience, and therefore are portrayed in a different way by Priestley to create hope and an example of the future.
Priestley moves onto highlighting how socialism is good for people by using Sheila, the person he interrogates second, to show that there can be optimism for the future. The Inspector questions Sheila, who reacts with a dramatic effect once she discovered her involvement. After looking at the picture, the stages directions are, “She looks at it closely, recognizes it with a little cry, gives a half-stifled sob, and then runs out. ” (p21) Sheila feels extremely guilty about her involvement with Eva’s death and is quick to realise it.
She got Eva sacked from her first stable job after losing her job at the Birling business just because of her “furious temper”. Priestley uses the younger generation to present hope, hope in the face of capitalism and hope to change this capitalism community into his idealistic socialist community. By showing Sheila repenting, Priestley demonstrates that the future generation can be changed to act upon the socialist views because young ones, “They’re more impressionable. ” (p30)