Sheila's Development; Inspector Calls

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How does Priestley present the change in Sheila during the course of the play An Inspector Calls? How do you think this change reflects some of Priestley’s ideas? Initially Sheila is thought of to be quite childish and immature at the start of the play as she teases and has a playful argument with her brother and with her mother telling her off saying ‘’Now stop it, you two’’. This resembles an ordinary family and so we can see that Sheila is treated as a child and behaves like one through the use of the term ‘’squiffy’’ which is considered quite colloquial. However at the start we also notice another suspicious side to her where she says ‘’Yes, that’s what YOU say’’ to Gerald when she doubts his excuses about vanishing over summer. This shows that her child-like behaviour is only a partial representation of her character and there might be a lot more to her when all else is revealed. Her childish, innocent attitude is enhanced with how she responds to hearing the news of Eva, as she says ‘’Oh – how horrible’’ which seems genuine as opposed to her father’s rather dismissive attitude. This shows that she is quite compassionate. This is further highlighted when she tells her father that ‘’these girls aren’t cheap labour, they’re people!’’ recognising the problem with his mentality. However, we soon realise that she hasn’t always been quite as nice as her involvement in Eva’s death is revealed. She had used her power to sack her as she had envied her because the dress had ‘’just suited her’’. This showed how she had abused her authority to rid this lower class girl of her job, simply out of jealousy. We can see that Sheila used to be rather naive but has grown as a character from even then as she is willing to take responsibility, saying ‘’So I’m really responsible?’’ this is unlike both her mother and father as they had both denied their involvement and then went on to justify it and become blame-free. The fact that she was able to step up to the mark and was...
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