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Explore how Priestleys portrayal of Sheila Birling contributes to the dramatic impact of the play.

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Introduction

2. Explore how Priestley's portrayal of Sheila Birling contributes to the dramatic impact of the play. Throughout the entire play by Priestley, it is clear Shelia Birling is one of main characters due to the impact and role she plays. Priestly first portrays her as a young beautiful lady with a rather selfish and arrogant nature. Using her compelling personality she is able to obtain anything in which she desires through her father. After the inspector explains what's happened and how Eva Smith dies she shows an empathetic side of her personality, which might have surprised the audience watching the play. Over the play we as an audience get to see her change and develop as a character, with assistance from the Inspector, at the beginning having much respect for the other but soon calling them "....you fool". ...read more.

Middle

Shelia holding the moral high ground creating drama and conflict between both generations. Priestley also creating drama and suspense on the audiences curiosity on what is to happen as a result of what Mrs Birling has said, and Shelia screamed about. This realist attitude is also shown by her through her relationship with Gerald, and how through the one night her suspicions are proven and her opinion changed ending with the stage direction of her "hand[ing] him [Gerald] the ring" and "...rather respect[ing] "him more than she "...ever done before." It is clear Shelia is the voice of the audience, she is Priestley's way to make the play more realistic and relatable to the reader, "why he knows" showing her understanding the Inspector knows most of the facts already no point; "Go on mother.You might as well admit it." ...read more.

Conclusion

but the whole things different now." Demonstrating lack of responsibility of the night's events by Mr. and Mrs. Birling who as the elders should have learnt from their mistakes but being so selfish have ignored the entire situation, forgetting "...whoever that Inspector was, it was anything but a joke." Demonstrating Shelia's growing anger and distress of the situation, causing more drama and tension, as she tries to highlight that "..between us [them] we [they] drove that girl to suicide." By the end of the play it is clear that both Shelia and Eric are reformed and enlightened characters, who in turn will lead a better and conversely have learnt from their mistake, unlike their parents. In conclusion Shelia's dramatic impact throughout the play is shown in many ways by Priestley, from his use of stage directions and language to the form and her good nature and guilt which is an opposition to her parents. ...read more.

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