Priestley Presenting the Change in Shelia Birling

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Priestly uses Shelia Birling to represent the change in society that Inspector Call’s intends on revealing. Priestly demonstrates through Shelia that change is possible, Shelia Birling echoes Priestley’s ideal on socialism and its ethos of equality. Priestly begins the play by accentuating Shelia Birling’s oblivion to the world and most things outside of her charmed life style. “Sorry! It’s just that I can’t help thinking about this girl- destroying herself so horribly- and I’ve been so happy tonight. Oh I wish you hadn’t told me. What was she like? Quite young?” Shelia’s reaction to the girl’s death reveals that although blinded by her family’s wealth and social status she is able to feel compassion and empathetic towards the girl. However, Shelia Birling’s ignorance is highlighted by her complaints of the girl’s death scrounging her happiness, along with Shelia’s naivety and her close mindedness as this is bringing to life the point that there are “thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of Eva and John Smiths” and not once did Shelia Birling pause to realise this before the inspector. In addition, Shelia Birling is the first noticeable change within the Birling household after the inspector’s interrogations. “We all started like that – so confident, so pleased with ourselves until we began asking questions.” Priestly is representing social changes, revealing the only way society are able to change from its conventional ways is to question the tradition, possibly evoking a thought filled response from the audience of the time to question their own satisfied society. Shelia is also mirroring Priestley’s socialist concepts as Shelia is revealing how before she was affected by the inspector she once thought she was superior and was not involved within the investigation but he was the catalyst for her new found beliefs of equality. Priestly uses Shelia to communicate his concept that there is room for change. “I tell you - whoever that Inspector...
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