An Inspector Calls and Character Sheila

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In the book An Inspector Calls the character Sheila has more of an impact and changes her views on things. The writer, Priestley, uses Sheila as someone who helps the audience follow the play by what she says. Act One

In Act One, Sheila and her family are celebrating her engagement to Gerald Croft. Although Sheila is excited and full of joy, she can’t help but wonder why Gerald spent all of last summer avoiding her and blaming it on work, as it says on page 3, “(half serious, half playfully) Yes - except all last summer when you never came near me, and I wondered what had happened to you.” Sheila’s tone with Gerald is quite serious sometimes, even when she is trying to be playful. The Inspector arrives, he tells Mr. Birling about Eva Smith and Mr. Birling states his connection with her. He calls the girls ‘cheap labour’, Sheila hears this and says, “But these girls aren’t cheap labour, they’re people.” This shows that Sheila isn’t a typical snob like her Father, she is a girl who sees everyone as equal and has her own strong views, and no one is going to change that. When Sheila realises that Eva Smith was the young girl she got fired from her job, she runs out of the room sobbing. Sheila then returns, all miserable and full of guilt, and asks ’So I’m really responsible?’ She immediately takes the blame and doesn’t try to get herself out of it. Sheila feels horrible and admits being jealous of Eva Smith. She quotes, ‘She was the right type, just as I was the wrong’ and, ‘She was a very pretty girl, too - with big dark eyes - and that didn’t make it any better.’ At the very end of Act One, Gerald gives it away that he knew Eva Smith, but known to him as Daisy Renton, Sheila quickly puts it together and questions Gerald when the Inspector goes to the next room. He acts like he knows nothing, but she doesn’t fall for it she says bitterly to him ‘No, that’s no use. You not only knew her, but you knew her very well.’ Gerald gives in and admits...
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