How does Priestley present Sheila in An Inspector Calls? (Start of play…
How does Priestley present Sheila in An Inspector Calls?
Start of play
Celebrating her engagement to Gerald Croft
Comes across as a giddy, childish and naive young lady when she speaks
Does not speak much at the beginning as it is mainly Mr Birling who does the talking
Describes Eric as 'squiffy'
Gets over excited about the engagement ring given to her by Gerald
Relationship with Inspector
Gut instinct is to react in a capitalist way, saying 'You talk as if we were responsible'
Becomes socialist and takes all the blame because of the discussion she had had with the Inspector
Inspector may be seen to be thinking that Sheila is taking almost too much responsibility
Sheila says 'I had her turned out of a job. I started it'
Inspector replies by saying 'You helped, but didn't start it' then saying to Birling 'You started it'. This suggests that Birling is the main culprit and not Sheila.
Relationship with Eva Smith
Did not like her at Milwards
Handed in a formal complaint and abused her status as a wealthy customer at Milwards when she insisted they dismiss Eva.
Does take her share of responsibility for Eva's death and happy to accept the blame, understanding that she should have behaved differently
End of play
The Inspector's revelations have changed her for good
Hands back the engagement ring to Gerald
'You and I aren't the same people who sat down to dinner here'
After the Inspector's departure her parents want everything to return to the way it was, however Sheila and Eric are the only ones who show signs of socialism, seeing that they all have to change
Out of all the characters in the play, Sheila is the one who changes the most