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With regards to one of the accused in an inspector calls

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With regard to one of the accused in An Inspector Calls, examine how Priestly presents the effects of the Inspector's visit upon this character. How does this character portray Priestley's concerns about early twentieth century Britain? In the play An Inspector Calls, the character Sheila seems to be the most impressionable during the Inspector's interrogation compared to the rest of the family. This is mentioned in the play when Mrs Birling says 'You seem to have made a great impression on this child, Inspector'. Sheila is very troubled from her involvement in Eva Smith's death and this is clearly showed throughout the play. Sheila is overcome with guilt as a result of her jealousy and anger over a dress that didn't suit her. Although Sheila is horrified at the news of Eva's death she has a curiosity to see the interrogation through and understand what it was that caused Eva to commit suicide. Sheila's initial reaction to the murder was to exclaim 'Oh - how horrible! ...read more.


Despite Sheila's reaction to Eva's death and her horror to her father's actions she herself had a part to play in Eva's death. In an act of unusual immaturity Sheila had Eva Smith sacked due to petty ignorance and jealousy. When the Inspector shows Sheila the photo she 'recognizes it with a little cry, gives a half-stifled sob, and then runs out'. Although Sheila did commit an act of selfishness when she had Eva sacked she is clearly sorry for what she has done. Sheila seems to grasp the fact that even though no individual killed Eva Smith, their actions made a difference. Priestly is trying to express that we should always think of others, and that all our actions make a difference in a world that is progressing so fast. Sheila used her power as a wealthy middle classed shopper at a well known dress shop to have an innocent victim sacked because of her own selfish jealousy. This can act as a warning for people in the future, do not use your power to hurt others because you felt sorry for yourself. ...read more.


Sheila was the one person in the family who realised the gravity of the situation and was mature enough to feel responsible. Instead of pushing the blame on someone else and brushing it aside she realised she must accept her part in Eva's death. By doing this she is acting far more responsible than her parents and fianc�. This is another one of Priestley's concerns about the future, that we must all accept our actions and take responsibility for them. During the Inspectors final speech Priestly reinforces many of the points he made during the play, the speech is directed not only to the Birling family but to all the readers of the play. He mentions that we must look after everyone, their lives, their hopes, their fears, their suffering and chances of happiness. Priestly is warning that we must care and look after each other if we are to survive. Sheila is the only one who understand this fully and accepts her part in Eva's death regardless whether the Inspector was an official police officer or not. ...read more.

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