Sheila Birling Essay

  • Created by: MayField
  • Created on: 22-10-17 18:56

Sheila Birling Essay

Miss Sheila Birling is quite a compassionate character. This is because, she agrees with Inspector Goole when he talks about helping the lower class. She is changed by realising the importance of her actions. She is also humble as she wants what happened to Eva Smith to be known, regardless of the ‘public scandal’ that might be consequent. Also, it could be possibly treated as a warning, showing that certain attitudes that the characters have, such as jealousy for Miss Birling, are not acceptable.

Miss Birling is presented as a materialistic young woman before the inspector arrives, through her actions and dialogue. She cares about clothes and accessories; she loves ‘admiring her ring’. Miss Birling ‘couldn’t be sorry for’ Miss Smith and this shows that she was jealous of her. Priestley, who was the author of the play, may have done this to emphasise one of the seven giant evils which includes jealousy, at the time in 1945. Miss Birling calls Miss Smith ‘very pretty’ and mentioned she ‘looked like she could take care of herself’. This also shows that she’s trying to defend herself and it highlights her views, that she’s been brought up with; everyone is supposedly meant to ‘look out for himself’ and ‘make his own way’. However, as the play progresses and goes on, Miss Birling disagrees with this.

Miss Birling understands that, the family's experience that night is meant to make them improve the way they treat others, through her dialogue and actions. Miss Birling accepts Inspector Goole’s omnipotence. She believes that he’s ‘giving us the rope - so that we'll hang ourselves’ and warns her mother multiple times to stop making the trouble more complicated. She also…




This is my first ever essay, so I know it's not good and doesn't make sense half the time.