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An Inspector Calls

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Introduction

An Inspector Calls Sheila is lucky because she has had a good upbringing and she has things brought to her and will never have to work for a living. In the shop she wants to try a hat on and asks the assistant to model it for her. When she tries it on her mother and the assistant think it looks bad and she thinks she sees the assistant smirk at her because of the hat and complains about this imagined criticism. As a consequence the assistant is sacked and this person turns out to be Eva. In the questioning of Sheila she admits to being jealous. Her education would have been the same basic education that any rich girl would have had in those days. It would have included sewing, cooking, English and a small bit of French. I think that Sheila is a good person who almost redeems herself because she admits that she was jealous and feels bad for what she did. I could see Sheila changing as a result of the inspector's interrogation, for instance after they find out or believe that Eva never died - Sheila still felt responsible and guilty for the corruption of Eva Sheila has to be the most moral but also least responsible character in the play. ...read more.

Middle

He is 'a self made man' His first priority is to make money 'It's my duty to keep labour cost down' He welcomes Croft into his family as he represents a business link between his firm and that of Gerald Croft's father (a rival). He has an honest approach to life. He tells the Inspector that he would not listen to Eva Smith's demand for a wage rise 'I refused, of course' and is surprised why anyone should question why. He strongly believes that 'a man has to make his own way'. He does not consider the harm he may cause to other people because of his attitude. He is a 'hard headed business man ' He is a magistrate and former mayor who is looking forward to receiving a knighthood and he is very aware that Gerald's mother is rather against her son's marriage because she believes him to be marrying beneath him socially. He is optimistic about the future, yet we know that what he predicts will not become true. He refuses to accept any responsibility for Eva 's death. He becomes increasing annoyed by the Inspector's questioning and Eric's unsympathetic attitude. He reveals a lot about what he really thinks when he tries to threaten the Inspector by talking about his friendship with the Chief Constable. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is extremely scared of his father, but he admires him earlier on in the book. He shows this when his father and Gerald are talking. Eric interrupts them and feels left out when he is not let into the conversation, this could possibly be one of the reasons Eric turned to alcohol in the first place. When Mr Birling finds out he stole money, instead of realising that even though it was theft - it was also a gentlemanly thing to do. The justification being that he was only stealing the money to support Eva. J. B Priestley's Message at the end was that we are all similar and no matter what class or how much money we earn everyone deserves the same standards. If we all had this same attitude, Eva Smith would never have had to resort to prostitution and she would never have had problems with not working, because there would have been some form of support. J. B Preistley knew that there would have been some changes to peoples attitudes not dissimilar to Sheila's view and the fact that, as the inspector says, "There are lots of Eva Smiths and Daisy Rentons out there" - that, sadly, there are also Mr and Mrs Birlings as well. But if this message could get through to the real life versions of his characters, the world would be a better and more pleasant place. Michael Livingstone ...read more.

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