• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Inspector Calls

Extracts from this document...


Explain how Sheila Birling's character changes in the play 'An Inspector Calls'. How does the audience know that Sheila has changed and learnt an important lesson? The play 'An Inspector Calls' is set in the evening in spring, 1912. The act takes place in the dining room of the Birling house, they are having a dinner party to celebrate Sheila Birling's engagement. Into this cosy scene intrudes the harsh figure of a police inspector investigating the suicide of a young working-class woman. Under the pressure of his interrogation, every member of the family turns out to have a shameful secret, which links them with her death. However, nearing the end of the play, there is a twist in the tale. Sheila is a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited about her engagement. They've just enjoyed a good dinner, and are celebrating a special occasion, her engagement to Gerald. When we first come across Sheila she seems to be very playful and fairly lively, "like one of these purple-faced old men." ...read more.


Ironically, once she finds out that Eva Smith has killed herself she is horrified by her own part in the story. She feels full of guilt for her jealous actions and blames herself as "really responsible." The stage directions further show her internal fury, "miserably, distressed." She feels as if the least she can do is be honest to herself and open up cleanly which would make her feel as if she did Eva Smith justice, "At least, I'm trying to tell the truth." She knows that she's done wrong but she shows a maturity to be honest and truthful about the whole incident. Now the audience know what Sheila did to Eva, they again question whether she is a decent person. However, she takes full responsibility and is deeply saddened by her actions. This strikes the audience and they can accept her actions now as a result of her honesty. They can see a good side to her, and a bit of a cruel side to her as well. There is also a bit of unsure about because her actions are very mixed and it baffles the audience as to whether they should like this character or not. ...read more.


To conclude, the audience can see that Sheila's attitude has changed as the play unfolds because she is aware that what she did was out of order on Eva Smith and she wants her family to feel some sort of guilt, "you don't seem to have learnt anything." She is angry at the way her family have pretended nothing has happened. Sheila personally has learnt that basically what she did was very, very wrong and that she has to become a better person from this mistake. "I behaved badly too. I know I did. I'm ashamed of it." As for Mr. And Mrs. Birling, they haven't really learnt anything and they don't really see this as a serious issue involving them. When Sheila tries to show her parents that they behaved badly, she is trying to show the audience that they must learn the message too. "We are not alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." This quote sums up how Sheila has gone from a bit of a silly girl into a caring, wise and mature girl and how her attitude has transformed throughout the passage. It symbolises her maturity and the goodness inside of her. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. The Trouble with the Birlings and Gerald Croft is they Confuse Respectability with Morality ...

    admits to her getting the girl sacked from her second job at the shop and that it may have something to do with her suicide. She is different from the rest of her family; at first she just shows a genuine sympathy for the suicide and is horrified by the

  2. An Inspector Calls Essay

    Then he walks out having the last word. After he has left all the characters are "staring, subdued and wondering" and the only noise that is made is from Sheila's "crying". Then Mr. Birling moves "hesitatingly" and has some of his whiskey.

  1. Adventure begins here.

    "I think we should give the key to Charles," Simon said beginning to smile. "Yes. That will prove if she can handle keeping Black in there till midnight," laughed Ian tossing me the key. I sighed placing the key firmly inside my pocket.

  2. An Inspecter Calls Coursework

    Sheila feels angry at Eva, because she smirks when Sheila tries on a hat - knowing that it doesn't suit her - this triggers Sheila's temper making her act on impulse & she uses her power as the daughter of a wealthy businessman to get her fired (which she regrets doing later).

  1. one girl one dream

    I was too scared to move, my legs felt so heavy and my heart felt like ice. Keep quiet and stay hidden- chapter 10 "Sit" demanded a voices from behind, I sat immediately so not to start anything. The strange man ripped the blindfold from my face with not a

  2. The role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls.'

    Sheila notices this and says 'We hardly ever told him anything he didn't know.' The characters cannot hide the truth from the Inspector because he appears to know it already. In this way, he is similar to a conscience. An Inspector investing a crime would want to find out all

  1. The Fury

    Who could it be? She held her breath and prepared herself for the worst. Someone knew. "'Ello Mrs Fletcher, love! You ready for t'bingo? C'mon love, its starting soon!" Mrs Fletcher breathed a sigh of relief. She had forgotten that she'd arranged to go to the bingo with Mrs Smith from number 46, with all that had happened.

  2. Inspector Calls

    Mr Birling continues to ramble, and show total resistance to the rest of the world as he proclaims, 'community is nonsense... I've learned in the school of experience.' This is very irritating and shows the audience that experience is only useful in intelligent hands.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work