The Roles In J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

933 Words4 Pages
'An Inspector Calls ' written by J.B. Priestley in 1945, revolves around an investigation into a working-class girl who committed suicide due to the Capitalist nature of society. In this play Priestley uses each character to represent an important message to deliver to the audience, mostly about the theme of responsibility. Priestley uses the young Sheila Birling, a carefree lady, to drive the play forward. Her importance shows the audience the need for a social change where gender equality is concerned and it highlights differences in attitude among the generations. In addition, it seems that Sheila becomes a 'Second Inspector ' towards the end of the play in order to reinforce Priestley 's message. a
The importance of Sheila is to illustrate the Social Divide in 1912, between the upper-class and the lower-class. The fact that Mr. Birling, who owns "Birling and Company," is a well-known and successful businessman, would suggest that Sheila would like to secure a wealthy husband (Gerald Croft, next heir to the Croft Industries) in order to
…show more content…
Lastly, Priestley uses Sheila as a ‘Second Inspector’ in the play. As the start of Act 2, Sheila becomes more curious about the buried secrets in her 'perfect ' family and starts to see how each member of the family is coping with the death of Eva Smith. Her attitude changes from being sarcastic to more assertive, dominating and responsible. In her role as a "Second Inspector", she is often reinforcing Priestley 's beliefs about feminism and socialism. Sheila 's character creates a greater suspense in the play; as she interrogates each member of the family. She knows that Inspector Goole has supernatural techniques, as he knows how each member of the family plays a part. "He 's giving us the rope, to hang ourselves", she is using a metaphor to explain how the Inspector is guiding the members of the family to confess their mistakes. As well as that, she is one of the few characters that accepts part of the blame
Open Document