Arthur Birling was a very rich man and only seemed to care about his family and how well his business and financial position was progressing. He didn’t know any of his workers and didn’t want to either, as he quotes ‘ I have a couple of hundred workers under me, who keep changing’ This shows that there was no personal relationship with Arthur or Eva Smith until the strike. Arthur claims that his workers came back of there holidays very restless and demanded for a pay rise. Of course Arthur denies it, so all the workers hadn’t came back. After a few weeks the workers were getting poor so they had to come back and beg for their jobs. Arthur decided to let them come back because he might not want to admit it but he did need them. Because of all this trouble he decided to sack the ringleaders and Eva Smith appeared to be one of them.
Eva Smith was out of work now for a couple of months, and was earning no money. She had no savings and her parents were dead so she couldn’t ask them for help. Eva had only few friends and they were in no financial position to help her. So I don’t think that the events linked between Arthur Birling and Eva Smith are the cause of her death; she is capable of finding another job.
Sheila Birling, the daughter of Arthur Birling and fiancee of Gerald Croft understands the effect she had on Eva. One day whilst Sheila was at Milwards a very nice shop, Sheila was experimenting with some hats and she new very well that they didn’t suit her much so she asked Miss Francis to show her how they should be worn. Miss Francis asked Eva to put it on and show Sheila how they should be worn. Eva was a very pretty girl and the hat looked beautiful on her so at this point I think that Sheila might have been a bit jealous of Eva.
When Sheila was trying the hat on in the mirror it looked quite ridiculous and in the reflection she noticed Eva Smith laughing at her. Sheila was furious and was very rude to Miss Francis and Eva. Sheila went straight to the manager and complained that Eva was being very disrespectful and wanted her fired. She also complained, that if Eva was working in the shop then next time she came in to buy clothes she would walk out immediately and never shop there again, and tell her Mother to close her account with you.
It seems a pathetic reason for Eva to be fired, but customers and clients are always right. I think that Sheila was jealous of Eva and to show off her power she got her sacked from her last decent job. All these incidents are adding up and must be very painful for Eva. Gerald Croft was the fiancee of Sheila and had a large contribution to Eva Smith’s death. He had an affair with her and then just abandoned her when he felt like it. This all started when he saw her one night at the Stalls bar in the Palace Theatre. A fat man was harassing Eva, so Gerald started talking to her and found out that she was starved, jobless, penniless and homeless. He insisted that she should stay at his flat in the city because he is never there.