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An Inspector Calls. Describe in detail Sheila's part in the play.

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An Inspector Calls. Describe in detail Sheila's part in the play. In your answer you may wish to consider: * Her part in the girl's death * Her feeling about the Inspector and his methods * Her views on the suicide compared to those of others at the dinner party * Her attitude to responsibility * Any other aspect of her character you feel is relevant Sheila Birling is described as a young woman living in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. She is the daughter of Arthur Birling, a wealthy man who owns his own business, Birling and Company. Her family live a comfortable, rich lifestyle and are well respected. Sheila plays a very important part in the play. She has recently become engaged to Gerald Croft whom she likes to tease " that's what you say" she says at the beginning of Act One showing she is comfortable in her relationship. She is described as being "a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited" at the start of the play. In the opening section, JB Priestly shows her as a playful and self-centred young lady who enjoys the attention she is receiving because of her engagement. ...read more.


She also tells her "You wait mother" again implying she understands the Inspector well. Sheila uses an idiom when talking to her father "he's giving us rope - so that we'll hang ourselves" meaning that he is forcing them into confessing. Sheila, Eric and to an extent Gerald are able to see the Inspector's message. The older characters cling to their beliefs and refuse to listen to what the Inspector has to say. Once the Inspector has left Sheila supported by Eric, feels it makes no difference whether he was a real Inspector or not "well he inspected us all right," suggests this. Also in Act three Sheila states that "he was frightening" meaning the Inspector, showing her true feelings about him once he has left. She tries to make her parents see what the Inspector has taught them. She despairingly says, "You don't seem to have learnt anything." She believes that the Inspector did a good thing; she thinks he made them change for the better: "I tell you, whoever the Inspector was, it was anything but joke. You knew it then. You began to learn something. And now you've stopped. You're ready to go on in the same old way," indicating she is pleased that the Inspector is questioning them in such a way. ...read more.


Sheila and Eric accept responsibility and believe that nothing has happened to relieve their guilt. However, Mr Birling believes that if everyone were responsible for each other "it would be very awkward" showing how he hasn't listened to what the Inspector has said throughout the play. In summary, during the course of JB Priestly's play Sheila changes from a na�ve and ignorant young lady into an understanding strong and sympathetic character in the play. She is repentant and emphatic. The characters in An Inspector Calls are split into two groups, those who are not willing to change and those who are. Sheila falls into the latter, she, along with her brother understands that she can no longer go on as she has been doing. She understands that there are consequences of your actions, which is what the play is all about. This latter group contains only the young people in the play. J B Priestly may be trying to tell us that young people are the next generation and need to change. Sheila changes the most in this play, which is a good thing. Overall Sheila is a very important character and she provides a voice for the playwright's views. Elisabeth Dakers An Inspector Calls - 2 - - 3 - Elisabeth Dakers L5N An Inspector Calls - 1 - ...read more.

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