What Is the Role of Sheila in ‘an Inspector Calls’?

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Sheila is portrayed as a beautiful young lady in her early twenties with a rather selfish and arrogant nature. Using her compelling personality she is able to obtain anything in which she desires through her father. She makes inconsequential remarks and speaks in a childish manner. However she is the only one to accept immediate responsibility for her role in Eva Smith’s death, making her most probably the furthermost sympathetic character throughout the play. She is horrified by her own part in Eva's death; she feels full of guilt for her jealous actions and blames herself and she is genuinely remorseful for her actions. She is very perceptive towards the inspector, first to wonder who he really is, realising he already knows much of what he is asking. Sheila represents new ideas as a new generation, such as proto-feminist influenced by the inspector and changes her personality and becomes more honest, outspoken and wiser.

Sheila’s attitude is different at the end of the play from the beginning of the play. At first she is impulsive and childish, coming across as quite naive “Nothing to do with you, Sheila. Run along.” She is very curious and asks lots of questions as she wants to know everything that is going on, “What was she like quite young?”. Sheila reveals a nasty and selfish side in the play, when her part in Eva Smith’s death is revealed, acting in spite and jealousy in getting Eva sacked. However she is genuinely shocked by the news of her death, and despite the fact she does not know her, she is still upset. She is very inquisitive and genuinely wants to know about Gerald's part in the story, she is not angry with him when she hears about the affair, she says that she respects his honesty, showing she is becoming more mature. By the end of the play Sheila becomes a lot more mature and responsible, she is very remorseful for her actions and is affected a lot by Eva Smith’s death. She becomes angry with her parents for pretending nothing had happened...
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