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Eric’s Monologue

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It was my fault, Sheila. I wasn’t responsible at the time. Not responsible enough to realize how I was having an effect on her life. Eva Smith’s life. Only now do we realize how hard it must have been for her; how it must have felt. Struggling with the whole world seeming to be fighting against you. From the ‘lower class’ perspective it must look so unfair.

Alone, but in a community. At the time I was just a drunk young man in a bar drinking with two or three chaps. I began to talk to her; she was drunk too you see. She didn’t move away. But later I was in such a state that I threatened to make a row if she didn’t let me into her lodgings. I can’t believe I dared to act like that. But if people want to change they’ll have to believe. Father and mother just don’t understand, no one does, and they won’t change. No one will. We will have to help to make the next generation better.

Father and mother…they just don’t understand. They will ever change. Would you go to father for help? The point is, the younger generation has the power to change. We can change our generation and the next. The lower class don’t have a say in change, but we all do…all because we’re the ‘rich’ and ‘powerful’. What difference does it really make? Why can’t they have a say in how things are run? They feel powerless. This is why we have to help them…speak out. Only now we understand, it’s just cruel! Why should they feel…alone? Why let them feel helpless? They have nobody. They live alone. Die alone. They can’t even help it! Eva. She was only one, like the Inspector said, ‘What about the millions of other Eva Smiths in the world’; she was only one example.

How many others have been treated like this just because of their class? All those John Smiths. Even Edna, Sheila. We look down upon her like she’s nothing; it doesn’t matter how much she does for us. She doesn’t even complain. Just another individual, out of the millions in the world. They all get treated the same way. Eva was just helpless and we were all against her, whether we meant to be or not. Why did she have to live like this? She didn’t! That’s the answer, the way I see it.

Everyone has their own excuse as to why this happened. Father. He took her job from her just because she asked for higher wages, just a few extra shillings! He doesn’t understand how hard it is to get another job for the likes of them. Mother was just as bad. She only takes up ‘deserving cases’, well that’s another thing we learnt today. We know she refused Eva’s case partly due to Eva using mother’s name, but it was also because of her class. It was our family that did this to her Sheila! It was me too, I have to accept that. I made her pregnant. How foolish was I?

She died with that child. Another life we ruined. The Inspector was right, his socialist views about how things should change. Things will only change if we demolish this cruelty. It’s the likes of our father and mother that are the cranks. The Inspector. He knew…he knew, alright.

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