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In the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J B Priestley

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In the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J B Priestley

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In the play 'An Inspector Calls' by J B Priestley one of the integral characters is Sheila Birling. The daughter of Sybil and Arthur.

The play is set in 1912 in the family home of the wealthy Mr Arthur Birling. When the play begins the family are celebrating the engagement of Sheila to Gerald Croft who is also present. After dinner the women Sybil and Sheila leave and Arthur is telling Gerald and his son Eric; "that a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own" When an Inspector Goole who is an enigma arrives, apparently to investigate the death of a young woman called Eva Smith, it is discovered that Arthur fired her from his factory after a strike two years previously. When she finally gets another job in Milwards Sheila is jealous of Eva because she looks better in address so Sheila complains to the manager and gets her fired from her last real job. Eva became desperate and goes to the palace bar, calling herself Daisy Renton where Gerald picks her up. He puts her up in his friend's rooms, which leads to her becoming his mistress. After Gerald ends their affair she goes to the seaside until her money runs out. She is forced to return to the palace bar where she meets Eric. After spending some time with Eric she becomes pregnant, so he gives her some money. When Eva discovers the money is stolen she refuses to take anymore. With no options left to her she goes to the Brumley Woman's Charity Organization calling herself Mrs Birling. This angered Sybil and caused her to refuse the plea. This final blow led Eva to kill herself by drinking disinfectant.

Before the Inspector arrives Sheila is complacent and vain; "Oh-it's wonderful! Look-Mummy-isn't it a beauty?" She thinks a lot about the way things look and expects people to give her beautiful things, as she has never known life any other way.

Sheila is also very snobbish saying things like; "Chump! I can't drink to this, can I?" The language she uses shows that she is snobbish...