Sheila Birling

Topics: Royal National Theatre, Engagement, The Smiths Pages: 2 (425 words) Published: October 2, 2013
At the beginning of the play, Sheila Birling is Naïve and Vain, because shes young, carefree, happy and about to engaged to be married to Gerald Croft. However at the end of the play she is a totally different character because she is much wiser and mature.

Firstly Sheila Birling is shown as naïve
‘very pleased with life and rather excited’
She doesn’t have a care in the world and has grown up in a wealthy family where she has had little troubles and probably doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about the outside world, much like a child. This is probably because she has had no experience in it because she’s always had good opportunities given to her. The world excited also gives the impression that she is rather childlike but also is quite ironic because it shows that she doesn’t expect anything to go wrong but little does she know her life drastically turns upside down. On the other hand, although she is described to be ‘very pleased with life’ at her engagement dinner she shows that she has suspicions as she mentions how garland never came near her last summer, which shows that things are not what all they seem and makes the audience question her naivety. Furthermore in the first stage she seems vain.

‘was she pretty?’
This is the first thing she says when she hears about eva smiths death, wheras other people may have focused on more important things. It gives the impression that she cares a lot about peoples looks which indicates that if Eva wasn’t pretty her death may have not been as significant. Moreover it has a hint of comparison, like Sheila was wondering if eva was as pretty as her.

As the play progresses, her character begins to change and she is shown as understanding. ‘But these girls are cheap labour, theyre people’
She says this when she hears of her fathers treatment of Eva Smith. She uses the statement ‘these girls’ which shows that she isn’t just referring to Eva, but all of working class girls. She is showing her compassion but at...
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