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How Does the Character ‘Sheila Birling’ Change in the Play in ‘an Inspector Calls?’

  • Date Submitted: 02/28/2014 04:19 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.1 
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How does the character ‘Sheila Birling’ change in the play in ‘An Inspector Calls?’

The play ‘An Inspector Calls was set in 1912 and written in 1945 by J.B Priestly. In those days society was capitalist, their was a massive division between upper class and lower class people, the wealth was not shared equally. The play is based on the Birling family headed by Arthur Birling who is a wealthy factory owner. At the beginning of the play the family is celebrating Sheila and Gerald Crofts engagement. The mood starts to change when the inspector arrives and informs them about a young woman Eva Smith suicide.

Sheila Birling is described as a ‘pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited’ at the start of the play. Shelia is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Birling. Earlier in the play Sheila’s mother informs her about married life claiming that men ‘spend nearly all their time and energy on business’. However, Sheila does not agree with doesn’t agree with her and warns Gerald ‘so you be careful’ which shows that she wants more attention from Gerald.

Sheila and Gerald’s relationship seems a bit dysfunctional and it seems like they don’t love each as much as we know they should. At the beginning Sheila mentioned how Gerard never came near her last summer but he tried to justify his self and said how he was ‘awfully busy at works all that time’ Sheila wasn’t all convinced and replied by saying ‘yes, that’s what you say’. Also at the beginning of act 2 Gerald wanted to hide everything he knew about Eva smith from the inspector but Sheila wasn’t sure about it, she was curious to hear about his part of the story.

Sheila also showed how much she matured when she found out about Gerald’s affair, she wasn’t angry at him at all; she said that she respected his honesty and swiftly moved on from the topic of the affair.

After Eva smith gets fired from her job in the Birling’s factory she is fortunate enough to find a new job at a retail...


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