Character Of Sheila In An Inspector Calls

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How does Priestley present the character of Sheila in An Inspector Calls ?

In the 1947 play, An Inspector Calls, the character of Sheila is utilized by Priestley to convey a number of key messages but somewhat passively, at least until the final act, when her character becomes more forceful. Sheila is the fiance to aristocrat Gerald Croft and daughter to capitalists Mr and Mrs Birling. Interestingly, Gerald is the son of Mr Birling’s greatest business rival and the marriage is presented as being as much of a business opportunity as a romantic partnership.Of all the characters in the play, Sheila develops the most. At first, Sheila is greatly concerned when she hears that her narrow-minded jealousy was one of the reasons for the death of an innocent girl, Eva Smith. Sheila is important for the play showing that adolescent people can take mature, moral positions which adults find difficult when they are driven by self-interest.

At the start of the play, Sheila is described as youthful and infantile: "a very pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited". This implies that Sheila, oblivious to the authentic world has been engulfed and protected by her capitalist upbringing. Although she seems to be effervescent we know she has been having suspicions about her fiance, Gerald Croft being unfaithful when she mentions, "last summer when you never came near me." This makes a slight suggestion that Sheila is not as unintelligent and shallow as she
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