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Explore The Ways In Which Priestley Creates Sympathy For The Character Of Sheila Birling In ‘An Inspector Calls’

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Explore The Ways In Which Priestley Creates Sympathy For The Character Of Sheila Birling In ‘An Inspector Calls’
Explore The Ways In Which Priestley Creates Sympathy For The Character Of Sheila Birling In ‘An Inspector Calls’

In J.B Priestley’s play ‘An Inspector Calls’, which is written after the First World War and like much of his work contains controversial, politically charged messages. In this play J.B Priestley present Sheila Birling’s change during the play, Priestley purposefully chose to present Sheila in this way to show the audience that her change should influence them to change their views too.

Priestley uses a range of interesting techniques in order to present Sheila’s change in this play form how we perhaps see her as not an entirely sympathetic character at the start of the play. One of the most intriguing methods he uses is language technique to express certain messages that J.B Priestley tried to present. At the beginning of Act One, Sheila is presented as a stereotypical young middle class woman-Naive and immature.

Priestley stages Sheila’s character through her childish language before the Inspector arrives, such as when she was talking to her brother Eric, “You’re squiffy” (p3) and calling her mother “mummy”. This implies that she is childish, innocent, and a naive looking character in the beginning. This makes her seem very silly and not understanding things normally than they seem. While Gerald had proposed to Sheila in the beginning of Act One, showing Sheila talking about the ring Gerald just gave her “Oh-Gerald-You’ve got it-is it the one you wanted me to have?” (P5).

This immediately shows her how the ‘ring’ is what ‘he wanted her to have’ and shows how spoilt she is by her wanting something better and maybe bigger. But when the Inspector had arrived and Sheila had heard of what had happened to Eva Smith, she “cant help thinking about this girl-destroying herself so horribly-and I’ve been so happy tonight.” (P17). This immediately indicates how she may have seemed childish in this opening act but she has got a different side of

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