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Sheila Birling was created by Priestly toconvey his socialist political views about the way

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Sheila Birling was created by Priestly to convey his socialist political views about the way Britain and society ran. Two years before the First World War 1912 was a time when the country was split by class divisions. People with wealth had power over the lower classes in the social hierarchy. Women were not seen as equal to men in society. A group called the suffragettes protested for equal rights and the vote for women throughout this time they were becoming more active and extreme and were making everybody think about Equality in Britain. Sheila is the daughter of Arthur Birling a successful business man. She lives a lavish life and is high up the social hierarchy. She is a young Woman and is ready to marry into future wealth, something her father wants more than anything. Arthur Birling sees his daughter's marriage as a good business opportunity because Sheila's fianc� is the son of one of his closest business rivals "Crofts Limited." The drama explores the effects of class, age and sex on people's attitudes and beliefs. It shows how easily different generations can adapt to change. Priestly hopes people will come away from a performance of his play asking questions about their responsibility to society and prejudice. Sheila is pivotal in helping explore these themes. In relation to her parents Sheila is seen as a good business tool. ...read more.


Sheila's attitude towards men and marriage is different to her mothers. She wants honesty and love from her husband. She doesn't just want a husband for a good financial backing and to be protected from the reality of a class divided country. She clearly hates lies and knows Gerald is hiding something from her about his activities last summer. When Gerald tells her his side of the story she is quick to dismiss it: Sheila: "Yes - except for all last summer when you never came near me, and I wondered what had happened to you" Gerald: "And I've told you I was awfully busy at the works all that time" Sheila: "Yes, that's what you say" This is when Mrs Birling is quick to defend Gerald: "Now Sheila, don't tease him. When you've got married you'll realise that men with important work do sometimes have to spend nearly all their time and energy on business. You'll have to get used to that, just as I had" These statement show the audience Sheila wants to be different and break the mould. She doesn't just want to accept that she might not see her man all the time she wants him with her and she won't forget easily. Whereas he mother has learned to live with these ways. When Gerald id honest about what he has been doing in the summer he gains respect from Sheila that he didn't previously have. ...read more.


The repetition also creates tension and suspense in the scene. Further on in the dialogue Sheila tells her mother: "I begged you and begged you to stop" The word "begged" shows Sheila was desperate for her mother to stop. Maybe this word is used because Sheila symbolises Eva Smith. Eva Smith "begged" for help from Mrs Birling's committee but her plea was also ignored. This suggests that Sheila is the voice of conscience. Sheila Birling is important in the play because she creates conflict and adds suspense. On a few occasions she creates conflict by arguing with members of her family. She comes out of her shell and really speaks her mind. The first this is when she I questions her fathers judgement when she found out the circumstances in which Eva Smith was sacked she protested: "I think it was a mean thing to do. Perhaps spoilt everything for her." Her questioning her fathers judgement creates conflict and shows she is learning and thinking about what is happening before her. She is also correcting her fathers judgement and telling him the correct way to have dealt with the problem. At the end of the play Sheila is Priestly's hope for the future. Sheila represents youth. Youth represents the ability to adapt to change and new order. At the end of the play Sheila shows we can be optimistic that the young - who shape the future - will take on board the inspector's message unlike her parents - the older generation - who have remained with their old values. ...read more.

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