He occasionally offered words of sympathy to her such as when Sheila asked, ‘So I’m really responsible? ‘ and the Inspector replied, ‘No, not entirely. A good deal happened to her after that. ‘ Just slightly before the Inspector arrived, Mr Birling was speaking about the need to share with no one except yourself and your immediate family so how ironic that Sheila will not share her guilt with anyone in the family. The impact the Inspector has on her is incredibly big and is arguably more-so than anyone else in the family.
I think her response is very mature and sympathetic whereas her parents seemed to take very little care in the whole situation. When she is initially asked about Eva, she doesn’t think she is involved but after being shown a photograph she ‘recognises it with a little cry, gives a half stifled sob and then runs out. ‘ I think this reaction shows a lot about Sheila’s character because not only was it a response of surprise but she instantly is taking on responsibility because she finds it upsetting whereas on the other hand, Mrs. Birling shows no emotion when shown the photograph.
This is evidence of the difference between Sheila and her parents. After that she does take full responsibility for her actions and she fails to understand why her parents don’t. Sheila does mature dramatically as at the beginning of the play she uses words such as ‘squiffy’ yet by the end she is giving back her fianci?? ‘s ring to think about the relationship. Because Gerald admitted to having an affair, Sheila felt she needed to change her opinions on him which was a grown up action. ‘But this has made a difference. You and I are not the same people who sat down to dinner here.
We’d have to start all over again, getting to know eachother-. ‘ If she hadn’t have matured, she would not have appreciated his honesty as much or even considered the complications that affairs can cause in a relationship. If I was in this position, I would have done the same because I wouldn’t know if I could trust him or not. She is incredibly serious about the whole situation with the Inspector and by the end, is even trying to help him by persuading her family to expose the truth, ‘I only told her tonight because I knew everything was coming out.
‘ She challenges her family as she can understand the methods the Inspector uses to force honesty out of people. For example when Mrs Birling is trying to pin all blame of Eva’s death onto the father of her baby, Sheila is desperate to stop her as she is the only person who can see where the Inspector is heading. When it is discovered that Eric is the father, Sheila isn’t surprised which is proof that she knew who it was the whole time. By the time the Inspector leaves, Sheila has completely transformed.
She no longer shares her father’s views but looks at the world as one big community where everyone’s actions affect someone else in a way that could be good or bad. She doesn’t care much when the Inspector is said to be an impostor because she feels she has learnt so much in one night. ‘But you’re forgetting one thing I can’t forget. Everything we said had happened really had happened. ‘ Sheila would never go back to the way she was at the start of the play because she’s seen the world in a different way so she would never be able to forget it.
Her parents, however, are unaffected by the entire situation. They don’t appreciate Sheila’s new attitude and they don’t seem to want to know why she’s changed. They lightly scold Sheila constantly because they don’t understand why she gets upset or why she tries to stop them from blaming someone else. When Mrs Birling was building responsibility on Eric’s shoulders and Sheila was trying to stop her, all she got told was, ‘Be quiet Sheila! ‘ even though she was trying to help.
Priestley’s moral was to create equality in communities. He wanted people to realize that if things didn’t change then there will always be people dying unnecessarily out of poverty when others are rolling in wealth. Priestley also knew that the country would keep being punished with wars until they learnt their lesson. These morals are relevant to todays society because we still hear of people with millions of pounds and celebrity status giving very little to charities that help people who are living on the brink of starvation.
It is also a main part to the war we are now fighting in Iraq. We find the poor people of this country going into the army to fight for us because they need the money, and not getting anything out of it as they are fighting to carry on the poverty stricken life they lead. This story is being taught still for people to notice the different classes and way of life for millions of people. However we can only achieve so much as awareness is important but no millionaire will part with their money so everyone can be equal.
I think Priestley was more effective by writing this play than by doing any political movement because when this idea was written down, the story can now be passed on for generations until Priestley achieves his ambition. He has raised a lot of awareness and maybe through the years, society will eventually be much more equal than it ever has been. Bethan Siddons Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section.