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How does Priestley portray one member of the Birling family before, during and after the inspector's arrival? - Sheila.

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How does Priestley portray one member of the Birling family before, during and after the inspector's arrival? - Sheila I think Priestley way of showing the characters, before, during and after the inspectors visit it very strongly presented. For example the way he portrays Sheila is one of the strong examples, this is mainly because she changes a lot during the whole play. She changes not only with her attitude but also too the way she tackles life. Ahead of the inspector's arrival the stage directions that Priestley gives are slightly different to the ones at the end. This is because his directions in the home, at the beginning of the play create a different image about each character. For example he illustrates Mr Birling to be an exceptionally arrogant character. And the way he shows Sheila being a little childish. I think the image created at the beginning of the play, about the Birling family is that it show they are a rich/middle class (or well off) family that just like too have a good time with each other. I think they are mainly rich because of the words they use, to a certain extent posh words and also they speak to each other with respect. They may also look rich because they had a servant, but in those days this may have been not too rare, because then the laws were incredibly different. ...read more.


Priestley presents her being a little more serious and up to date. This mainly happens when the inspector shows her a picture of Eva Smith. When she sees the photograph she is very shocked, she starts crying and runs out of the room. This shows Priestley wanted us to think that she can get somewhat emotional and cannot deal with any real problems. When she sees this picture she feels fairly miserable right away. After this dramatic scene Priestley starts to expose her in way that she is presented in a very sensible manner, he shows her being involved with the inspectors visit and engrossed in what everybody has done. It is now when her behaviour changes at its utter most. This is because she starts feeling very low and ashamed of herself, because she knows who the picture is of. Throughout the inspector's visit the mood and atmosphere changes vastly. This is because all the Birling family begin to get a little anxious to what's going to happen and also a little worried. This is because in their mind they all know what they've done and why the inspector may be there. When the inspector is talking to the characters, they get more and more tense until the inspector reveals why he has dropped in on them. ...read more.


It makes them think if Sheila is a 'goodie' or a 'baddie' because they may think she was involved in the murder so it makes her a 'baddie' but then again she learnt from her mistakes, and in away suffered herself, so this makes her 'goodie'. I think the way Priestley has done this is very powerful because it makes the audience think, and its not even a question. I personally think Sheila is not very bad because she has learnt from her mistakes. A quotation to show this is: "I behaved badly too. I know I did. I'm ashamed of it." This shows she recognizes her mistakes and has learnt from them and she is will to change her way of life. To be more pleasant to other people. I think Priestley portrays Sheila like this because he wants everybody to know she is a 3 dimensional character, and not just a made up sham. He may also show her like this because it makes the play more interesting, because in this way not everybody in the play is the same type of person. Priestley leaves us with the thoughts that it makes no real difference to Sheila that the inspector may just be a hoax. Priestly shows us that she has learnt her lesson and will change her attitude and conduct to others. She has learnt to take responsibility for others and will be different in the future. ...read more.

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