Sheila Birling Analysis

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In an Inspector Calls, responsibility is the prime subject. Priestley is mainly interested in our individual actions and our social responsibility, toward society. The play analyzes the effect of hierarchy, gender, and generations; approaching people's attitude to responsibility. He presents how animosity can prevent certain people from acting more responsible and it is also his intention to show that it is wrong to treat people in the way that the Birling’s and Gerald has treated Eva/Daisy. Priestley presents his feelings and thoughts through the voice of Inspector Goole; He uses the Inspectors voice to speak out on socialism, society's faults and responsibility in the present century. Priestley, as a socialist, wants us to learn about the…show more content…
Priestley describes her as a pretty young girl that is quite excited about life, he uses the character of Shelia Birling to present his socialist views and teach the readers the duty of social responsibility. He is eager to teach the Birling’s that everyone can be treated equally not dependent on which “class “you are in, he demonstrates this through the Sheila Birling’s character throughout the second through third acts, following the realization that she has played a part Eva Smith's death, she matures and stands her ground. At first, Shelia is presented as being childish; This can be seen when she says ‘Oh it’s wonderful! Look- Mummy- isn’t it a beauty? The word 'mummy' has a significance of companionship and care but it also can convey a sense of immaturity. Priestley, therefore will be suggesting that, despite Shelia's age, she is still very young minded and dependent on her family meaning she is unable to see or understand what is going on around her regarding the lower class. However, when the inspector is introduced, we see changes in Sheila which also reflects the change Priestley wants in society. This can be seen when Shelia challenges her parents by saying “but these girls aren't cheap labor - they're people” with use of the hyphen, Priestley makes the reader to pause when reading, creating the sense of Shelia realizing; the value of other human’s lives. She seems to be shocked by the fact her father considers women to be 'cheap labor' Sheila then feels irritated, as she is a woman herself. nonetheless, the term 'cheap labor' can refer to the fact that lower class women, Eva, were often seen as cheap labor just carrying out menial jobs such as cleaning and working for Mr. Birling, the term may also imply to the fact that women were seen as inferior to men as they had fewer rights, fact that Shelia stands up to her parents is also important.
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