How does Priestley present the change in Sheila during the course of the play An Inspector Calls? How do you think this change reflects some of Priestley’s ideas? Initially Sheila is thought of to be quite childish and immature at the start of the play as she teases and has a playful argument with her brother and with her mother telling her off saying ‘’Now stop it, you two’’. This resembles an ordinary family and so we can see that Sheila is treated as a child and behaves like one through the use of the term ‘’squiffy’’ which is considered quite colloquial.
However at the start we also notice another suspicious side to her where she says ‘’Yes, that’s what YOU say’’ to Gerald when she doubts his excuses about vanishing over summer. This shows that her child-like behaviour is only a partial representation of her character and there might be a lot more to her when all else is revealed. Her childish, innocent attitude is enhanced with how she responds to hearing the news of Eva, as she says ‘’Oh – how horrible’’ which seems genuine as opposed to her father’s rather dismissive attitude.
This shows that she is quite compassionate. This is further highlighted when she tells her father that ‘’these girls aren’t cheap labour, they’re people! ’’ recognising the problem with his mentality. However, we soon realise that she hasn’t always been quite as nice as her involvement in Eva’s death is revealed. She had used her power to sack her as she had envied her because the dress had ‘’just suited her’’. This showed how she had abused her authority to rid this lower class girl of her job, simply out of jealousy.
... by her uncle and her father's friends. Sheila had awful personal hygiene and little schooling, ... first visit, Torey made frequent visits to see Sheila in hopes that they could rebuild their friendship. ... However, the following Saturday she was told that Sheila had disappeared without a trace. A couple weeks ... . But she accepted it. Ten years later Sheila had turned into a remarkably stable and competent ...
We can see that Sheila used to be rather naive but has grown as a character from even then as she is willing to take responsibility, saying ‘’So I’m really responsible? ’’ this is unlike both her mother and father as they had both denied their involvement and then went on to justify it and become blame-free. The fact that she was able to step up to the mark and was willing to accept FULL responsibility shows how mature she is.
Throughout the play we see how Sheila begins to take the role of the inspector and even interrogate her family herself. She is aware of the Inspector’s tricks and she knows his game plan whilst the others all think they have a chance of escaping or fooling him. This alertness shows that she is quite sharp despite her having been spoon-fed all her life and treated like a spoilt princess. We see the darker, more intelligent side to her, the one we caught a glimpse of at the start where she doubted Gerald.
She catches onto things faster than her family and she tries to help them get out of trouble when she protests to Mrs Birling to ‘’stop – stop! ’’ and it is only her mother’s ignorance and self-righteousness that makes her blind to the light. Towards the end we see how much she has evolved and developed as an individual and she tries to embed the moral points of the inspector into the minds of her parents as she tells them off by saying ‘’the point is, you don’t seem to have learnt anything’’.
She and Eric are the only two that seem to have taken something away from the inspector’s arrival. She says, ‘’I suppose we’re all good people now’’ when they insist that there’s nothing to worry about. This suggests that she thinks she’s a bad person and she’s learning something and she has become more aware of other people after his lesson. J. B Priestley may have used Sheila and Eric to portray these characters as in this play they are a representation of the younger generation.
They are trying to teach the older generation that their way of thinking is wrong; that lower class people are still humans and deserve to be treated as equals. Priestley may have done this to put across the idea that the older generation are too adamant and stubborn in their beliefs to change however there is still hope in the younger generation. As the audience of the play in the 1940’s would have been the older generation, he could be sending them a message, telling them that there way of thinking is stupid and that they should become as accepting as the youngsters.
In this essay I am going to write about how J.B.Priestely used dramatic irony and entrances and exits to create dramatic tension. I will tell you what dramatic irony is and how it is used in the story ‘An Inspector Calls’. In addition how Priestley uses entrances and exits to create tension as well. The play is set in 1912 but actually written in 1945, which created more dramatic irony ...
He puts across the idea that the power to change is in the hands of the younger generation, who are the future. Furthermore, the way Sheila has evolved as a character over the course of the play may be a representation of the way society can evolve over the course of time and how it doesn’t take a lot to do. It needs the same characteristics that Sheila had, which was the awareness of other people and the understanding of collective responsibility. J.
B Priestley may have used the younger older generation to represent the segregation of the views within society and he made the younger generation appear more compassionate and sympathetic and made the older generation look stupid through the arrogance of Mrs Birling when she put her own son right in it, and when the dramatic irony was used against Mr Birling. Priestley made them look stupid and so this stupidity could be a symbol of how stupid their views were, making Sheila and Eric appeal to the audience and therefore making the audience believe their views and strengthen and reinforce Priestley’s final message.