How Does Sheila Change In An Inspector Calls

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Sheila is one of the protagonists in J.B. Priestley’s play, ‘An Inspector Calls’, and her character changes greatly throughout. From the beginning of the play it is clearly evident that the Birling family has a well off background, set in the fictional Northern English industrial city of Brumley in the year 1912. This is clearly shown by the, “port, cigar box and cigarettes” and Birling’s “portentous” attitude.
The play shows how each person in the family had a part leading to the suicide of a girl supposedly called, ‘Eva Smith’. Sheila is marrying the son of another businessman called ‘Gerald Croft’, however this marriage is merely for the convenience of Birling, from a business perspective, “though Crofts Limited are both older and bigger …show more content…

Actually I was listening.” The noun ‘Daddy’ shows her childlike attributes and how she is silent, attentive and subservient. Her attitude portrays her as a character who cannot look after themselves without the care of others, this can be seen by her frequent references to how a woman should care more about her appearance than anyone else, “Oh - it’s wonderful! Look – Mummy – isn’t it a beauty?” Her focus and attention is on how ‘wonderful’ the ring is rather than thanking Gerald for the ring. Her materialistic attitude is what was expected of women in 1912. Another example of her acquisitive lifestyle is when she tells of her favourite pastime, “a good shop too – Milwards.” Her interest in shopping shows a clear class divide, especially since she does it for fun rather than for essentials only. The quote, “Now I really feel engaged” shows how Sheila is motivated by material possessions and how she has a shallow relationship with Gerald. The adverb ‘really’ emphasises her love for jewellery in the marriage rather than love and respect. Later in the play, when Sheila returns the ring to Gerald, she has clearly been emotionally affected by her involvement in the death of Eva Smith as she is giving away something which is so important to her. Priestley also portrays her as childish in the beginning to emphasise the huge change in her attitude throughout the play. When Sheila …show more content…

The way she talks to Gerald suggests that she no longer cares for social classes or gender stereotypes by calling him a “fool”. The noun “fool” shows that Sheila is beginning to judge people on what they have done to Eva, rather than based on their social status. This is a good example of Priestley expressing his socialist views through the character of Sheila; Priestley believed that people shouldn’t be divided based on status. Sheila shows her embarrassment to her family’s reaction to Eva’s death. She expresses her, “he’s giving us the rope - so that we’ll hang ourselves”. This shows that she is very annoyed with her family because they fail to accept their responsibility and taking part in the death of Eva Smith. The word “hang” is important here as it reflects that Sheila feels that her family’s crimes could punishable by death. However, the word hang also brings to attention the importance of Eva and reminds the audience how easily all of these actions could have easily been

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