Sheila analysis

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  • Sheila Birling
    • Strong minded: "I don't believe I will. So you be careful."
    • Moral: "But these girls aren't cheap labour"
    • Selfish: "you used the power you punish the girl"
    • Introduction
      • The stage directions say she's "very pleased with life and rather excited"
      • She uses slang such as "squiffy" to remind the audience she is of the younger generation.
      • She's very excited when she gets the ring "look-Mummy-isn't it a beauty", again very childlike.
      • She jokes with Gerald "half serious half playful". Childishness hides "serious" concerns about their relationship.
      • "Is it the one you wanted me to have". When Gerald gives her the ring, shows women didn't have authority in those days.
    • Selfish: "I wish you hadn't told me"
    • Curious: "last summer, when you never came near me"
    • Throughout play
      • "I'm not a child" tells us she is maturing throughout the play.
      • Theme: Learning about life. Priestley makes Sheila seem young and childish at first. it makes involvement in Eva's downfall seem the result of immaturity. This makes it easier to forgive her.
      • She acknowledge she used her "power" to "punish" Eva but regrets her actions and is eager to learn firm the consequence- mature
      • On the inspectors side, wants to know the truth, reveals Eric's drinking problem to mother, contradicts and undermines parents, tells her father "don't interfere"
    • End
      • Able to admit "probably between us we killed her" the others don't
      • respects Gerald for being "honest"
      • Knows the family must stop these "silly pretences"
      • Represents hope and change in the new generation.
      • Sheila and Eric are the only ones that see they have to change. Sheila changes the most
    • Begins to refer her mother as "mother" instead of mummy" which reflects change in behaviour.
    • When her parents "pretend nothing much has happened" she says "it frightens me the way you talk"- she sees her parents in a new unfavourable light.
      • She immediately starts to change when she hears of her fathers treatment to Eva. She sows compassion.
    • Her social conscience has been awakened and she is aware of her responsibilities. The old Sheila has vanished forever.
      • Perceptive
        • Ill tempered
          • Excitable
            • Repentant
              • Sympathetic


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