Sheila Birling

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  • Sheila Birling
    • a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited
      • Presents her as naive and innocent, with a sense of entitlement
      • She is ignorant to the coming events and social responsibility , unaware of the consequences of her actions
    • But these girls aren't cheap labour - they're people
      • 'People' is italicized- showing her sympathy, she humanizes them whereas Sybil degrades them
      • She still has a sense of respect for the lower class, has the potential for change + more open-minded than parents.
    • So I'm really responsible?
      • Ready to accept the consequences + social responsibility, unlike Arthur
      • Sympathetic + emotional response, juxtoposed to her father's reaction
    • Why - you fool - he knows. Of course he knows. And I hate to think how much he know that we don't know yet. You'll see. You'll see.
      • 'He knows' is italicized, showing her intelligence as she is the only one who understands the inspectors intentions
      • She's observant, takes on a triumphant tone, waiting for her suspicions to be proved right
    • And if you really love me, you couldn't have said that
      • Their relationship is toxic and beginning to crack, Gerald only married her for money not love
      • 'couldn't' expresses necessity of statement, increases dramatic tension between what her family feels is best + her own independence.
    • I behaved badly too. I know I did. I;m ashamed of it
      • Accepts social responsibility + consequences of her actions, contrasting her previous self.
      • She feels guilty + embarrassed because of her actions.
    • And I know I'm to blame - and I'm desperately sorry - but I can't - I won't believe it's simply my fault in the end she - she committed suicide.
      • Fragmentation of speech + inability to form sentences shows she struggle to comprehend her own actions.
      • She is truly sorry + remorseful for her actions, doesn't want to believe she is solely responsible.
    • You don't seem to have learnt anything
      • Generational divide - older feels as if they've done nothing wrong but younger accepts responsibility + feels ashamed
    • Between us we drove that girl to commit suicide.
      • Accepts her actions have affected others and that we are responsible for other people
    • He's giving us rope - so that we'll hang ourselves
      • Metaphorical - characters are incriminating themselves, exposing the truth + their own guilty actions
    • He mean I'm getting hysterical now
      • Hysteria seen as women over-reacting and being dramatic + helpless.
      • Exposing how men patronize women and seemingly  cannot handle the truth
    • She hands him the ring
      • Regaining her independence, taking control of her own life. She refuses his protection + chivalry
      • The ring is used as a dramatic device, symbolic movement of her relationship becoming irreparable.


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