Son of Arthur and Sybil, and older brother of Sheila. Eric works part-time at the family business. He is in his ‘early twenties, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive’ and, we discover very early in the play, has a drinking problem.
He has been drinking steadily for almost two years. When it is revealed that Eric had a romantic relationship with a woman, resulting in a child born out of wedlock, the family realise the problems within Eric’s life, and about their own (which they had previously tried to ignore). He also shows maturity and comes to realise the importance of the Inspector’s message, just as his sister does.
‘(Eric enters looking extremely pale and distressed)’
‘One of his excitable, queer moods’
‘Eric is not present but we can deduce from the other characters that…’
‘Some drunken young idler’
‘Public confession of responsibility’
‘He’s the chief culprit anyhow’
‘Blame the young man who was the father’
‘I was in the state when a chap easily turns nasty’ ‘squiffy’ ‘(familiarity with quick heavy drinking)’
‘I didn’t even remember-that’s the hellish thing’
‘You don’t understand anything. You never did’
‘My God-I’m not likely to forget’
‘The fact remains that I did what I did’
‘You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely’