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    Largely influential play Essay (1288 words)

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    An Inspector Calls written in 1944 by J B Priestley based in 1912, was largely influential play, mainly due to the problems and thoughts of society, which were brought up within the play, and projected through the thoughts and speech of the characters. Throughout the whole play each character develops and matures in their own way, either by playing a stronger role in the conversations within the play or just being a more influential character.

    To find out the answer to the question of “which character changes the most throughout the play” I have chosen to concentrate on one character in particular which changes the most as the play progresses, Sheila. By far the most undeveloped character at the beginning, she wasn’t taking part very much in making a mark at the beginning of the act but later on begins to develop more and more, and becomes a more influential role despite her earlier characteristics.

    Priestley was well known as being a modern day socialist back in 1944 when the play was written. By writing the play Priestley could forward his thoughts and views through the characters, being a socialist some of his mains views for lower class people and society itself were; everyone’s actions in some way or another effect each other and everyone should be responsible for each other, he strongly showed this view throughout the play with the death of a young woman, Daisy/Eva, but the events leading up towards her death are somewhat shocking for the Birling family who are all somehow linked to everything. Another one of his views were that as a socialist he actively tried to help to fight for the lower class people to have equal rights, same as the people higher up in society.

    Sheila being somewhat opened minded seeing as she is such a young character allowed Priestley to put across his views through Sheila. Sheila at the beginning of the play in the first act where the rest of the Birling family are celebrating Sheila’s engagement to Gerald Croft, Sheila’s character comes across as being very childish with her language being that of a 10 year old nowadays with the use of words of “mummy” and “daddy” in most of her speech when she is either speaking to them of referring to them, also her behaviour is very excitable, kind of like a little child in some ways or another. When the inspector arrives with the news of Daisy’s/Eva’s death at the infirmary and the inspector begins his inquiry into the death, Sheila’s excitable character begins to fade and this is when she starts to show the first signs of her character developing.

    Questioning begins and the first person to be brought into the inquiry and questioned is Birling (Sheila’s father), at this point it is brought up that Birling had fired Daisy Renton (the name the girl, which died went under at that point) was fired due to a strike at the families factory over a dispute of a pay rise, at this point Sheila argues the point the point for the protesters saying “but these girls aren’t cheap labour” suggesting she sympathises for them striking for a pay rise and actually arguing with her dad trying to get the point across that these women and more than just a cheap form of labour for his factory. At this point already Sheila has begun to be stronger and she is no longer taking a back seat in the vital conversations and she is also arguing her own views, this is also important because what Sheila said about the cheap labour thing is actually part of what Priestley believes that everyone should have equal rights.

    When the inspector finishes with questioning Birling he moves onto Sheila, it is revealed that Sheila’s involvement into Daisy/Eva’s death was that she had Daisy/Eva fired from her job at a local dress shop called Milwards after a little disagreement, but there was more, the way Sheila got her fired was that she used her family name “Birling”, as a sort of authority over the shop owners, which had a fairly large account at the shop to get her fired otherwise she would withdraw her account with the shop. This shows that by doing this she acted very childishly by using her family name as a sort of backing to argue her pointless point to get Daisy/Eva fired from the shop simply out of spite.

    After discovering this Sheila’s character becomes distraught about what she has done and realises how her actions and her acting so childishly over something so small has lead to the death of Daisy/Eva, this is very contrasting behaviour considering what she was like at the beginning. Another point in this part is also brought during this point of how stereotypically rich girls were like in them days, that they acted very bratty and most relied on there family name to fund their views and actions, what Sheila done was a prime example when she got Daisy/Eva fired over something small and petty and also used her family name.

    In act two the plot begins to thicken as the inspector involves more people in this “inquiry” of his. Gerald Croft is the next person to be questioned who is Sheila’s fianc�, it is later on revealed in the questioning that Gerald had an affair with Daisy/Eva, Daisy Renton she was known to Gerald as then. But while Gerald is explaining the story to the inspector Sheila cuts in to express what she’s feeling, by saying “yes but why are you saying that to him?

    You ought to be saying it to me”; this shows in her language sort of where she uses a rhetorical question to state her point and shows openly what she is feeling at that point instead of bottling it up. Also soon as this news is broken to everyone, Sheila develops even more, piecing together what she had already known about Gerald, e.g. she had a suspicion something wasn’t quite normal when she noticed Gerald was spending a lot of time at “work” supposedly and spending a lot of time away from her but of course now its been revealed that Gerald had an affair, this shows that Sheila’s character has developed by showing us that she is more aware of what’s going on and is relying less on others to fill her in on all the information.

    After this Sheila’s character differs a lot from what her character was like at the beginning, further into the inquiry the inspector swiftly moves onto Mrs B. (Sheila’s mother), the story with Mrs B. goes that she was the head of a woman’s organization which offers help to women in need or need help with a worthy cause, but its seems that Daisy/Eva went to the organization to plea for help but was turned down due to the fact that Daisy.

    Eva came to the organization under the name of Mrs Birling which offended Mrs B., while the inspector is questioning Mrs B. leading to the answer of what happened, Sheila rude and openly offers to answer for her mother when the inspector asks Mrs B. to confirm that she is indeed the head of the organization, answering “go on Mother. You might as well admit it. (To the inspector) yes she is why?” this shows that her character is truly beginning to play a more stronger role within the conversations and the play overall, its shows in her language with the short a quick responses, also her childish language of “mummy” she referred to her mum before as has changed to “mother” now shows that her language is maturing.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Largely influential play Essay (1288 words). (2017, Nov 01). Retrieved from

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