Sheila Birling; character profile and responsibility
Who is Sheila Birling?
Sheila Birling is the daughter of Mr Birling of Birling & Co. Sheila is engaged to be married to Gerald Croft of Crofts Limited. She comes from a middle class family however her fiancée is of a higher class then herself. Her traits are depicted early on in the play, as she is described at the beginning as “a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited”. Although she is described to be “very pleased with life” at her engagement dinner she shows that she has suspicions as she mentions how Gerald never came near her last summer, this shows that things are not what all they seem. Even though at the beginning of the play she is shown to be a quite excitable, childish character she matures as the play continues. She is selfish and self-centred as at the start of the play she is enjoying the attention and importance her engagement brings her. Sheila is extremely perspective and curious as she realises that Gerald knew Daisy Renton from his reaction the moment the inspector mentions her name. She is interested and intrigued by the inspector and Gerald’s part in the girl’s death; she doesn’t become angry at Gerald when she learns of his affair this is an example of her maturing. As soon as Sheila hears of the girl’s death she shows compassion as she says “But these girls aren’t cheap labour-they’re people” already she is changing from her selfish ways. What responsibility does Sheila have in the death of Eva Smith? Sheila’s part in the death of Eva Smith was small yet full of consequences. Sheila abused her status as a wealthy, popular customer at the shop Milwards where Eva Smith worked, because Eva was pretty and laughed to the Clark about the choice of hat Sheila had chosen, Sheila insisted on Eva’s dismissal for her “impertinent” manner and said if she was not gone then she would influence her mother to close their account with Milwards. Eva Smith’s job...
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