“An Inspector Calls” Plays by John Boynton Priestley

Select one of the members of the Birling family – Write a character study, using the text for reference, to show how Priestly uses the character to convey his own opinions and attitudes.”SHEILA: Half serious, half playful) Yes except for all last summer, when you never came near me, and I wondered what had happened to you”This quote shows very little and a lot about Sheila Birling.In the brackets there are stage directions of how she says the line.

This in combination could be done for a number of reasons. The more obvious reason follows:In Act One, Sheila has to cover up her true feelings by trying to make a joke about what she says this again for another important reason. The first one that comes to mind is the fact that in her family she is seen as the young lady, who has to be removed from the room when serious situations come at hand. Also adding the fact she is always silenced by her mother or father when she has something important to say or get involved with.

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Sheila tries to make serious things to her sound like joke, just to be heard, it is hard to figure her out and hard for her to be honest, there are so many secrets in this family that the characters probably used playfulness as a defence mechanism against the truth, especially Sheila.Priestley wrote this book in 1912 he uses the character of Sheila Birling to put his opinion of how people are treated especially young ladies at this time. By reading this play it is in his opinion that women or young ladies were looked upon as very fragile and sensitive people, being excluded from certain events perhaps even conversations because it was not for a young lady to hear, understand or even cope with.Sheila is a very important character to follow in the play as are the rest of the Birlings; she is the young lady of the family though it seems she is treated more like a child.

The delicate female, the one to marry and just keep quiet.”BIRLING: Nothing to do with you, Sheila. Run along.INSPECTOR: No, wait a minute, Miss Birling. “Her Birling, her father is trying to get rid of Sheila from the scene, from the inspector, from the situation at hand. While he tries to or seems to protect by pushing her, another non – family member or friend or even employee wants her to stay.You can see how differently she is treated by this stranger and her immediate family, who won’t give her a chance to hear anything for reasons only known to them, while a perfect stranger has completely different view.Of course Sheila now gets involved, adding a lot of unnecessary emotion not helping her father.

With questions coming from both her and the inspector is more than enough. And it’s at this point you see she is like a little girl with unhelpful questions, tears and responses.Priestley is now showing an opinion of his of how maybe rich young ladies are always trying to prove themselves to be something and given the chance they always be just what other people think they are.”SHEILA : ( cutting in) Yes, you did.

And if you’d really loved me, you couldn’t have said that.Ypu listened to that nice story about me. I get that girl sacked from milwards.And now you’ve made up your mind I must obviously be a selfish inductive creature. “English Coursework . . .An Inspector CallsThis is a very long quotation. It was important to include all of it, as it makes a big change in the character of Sheila Birling.You can see she is no longer joking about what she fels.She’s now upfront and to the pointYou can see from this Priestley feels it would take something big or shocking to show people the error of their ways and even make them stronger .What Priestley is trying to show is how this class Sheila has been brought up in is above the rest of the society, and they know and act like that.

You can tell this by the way Sheila uses the fact that her mum is one of, if not the best customer account holder at Milwards to get Eva Smith fired. As if to say without it the business would crumble or fail.Preistly is trying to show how people at this time, particular females in the 1900’s hide behind money or behind someone else with money.

In this case it is her mother, Sybil. Sheila has become a stronger character, as she has accepted what has happened, what she’s done but without the tears, to prove herself to the family she is a young lady, but still a stronger individual.By Act 3, Sheila has made a dramatic change in her character, she is now a stronger and more demanding person, and in some ways an even wiser character. By this inspector coming it changes her, she is no longer only thinking of herself, but others.

She has now become or let out this person her family could never see she is mature and handling things, the exact opposite of what her think of her, especially her father. Here Priestley is trying to say how young woman here are not all you think there are, and that in 1912 ,if a woman wanted respect she would have to prove herself or learn something, its different from class to class, from Sheila’s to Eva Smiths.Priestley has a different attitude toward the parents then the children, like wealth is good in the right hands; meaning being young and rich you can change, have a chance to evolve from the typical description of rich people in this time and how they treat and see themselves towards others, not using money as something to sport something to appreciate and use wisely.But once you’ve grown with only one picture of money in your mind its hard, if not to late to change what you had grown up in your mind with.

But as you are young you are still being shaped by the world, and there still is hope.In conclusion to me it feels as though Priestly sees people like Sheila has two sides to them, one side being a little girl is to listen but not be listened to, the one to be left out of situations because they are seen as this person. And this other side the nastier side, a sweet young lady in others minds but in actual fact is very clever into getting what she wants, she uses her knowledge of her mother big account at Milwards to threaten that this girl be fired jus because she was better looking than you in a hat, someone who does cruel things for petty reasons.It shows young children can be moulded into many different thing =s from the things they see around them growing up, for example, what Sheila done sounds like something a rich woman would do to a maid for perhaps not doing exactly as she wanted and that exact time, maybe Sheila had seen her mother do something of the sort as she was a young girl growing up.

As this play was written nearly a century ago, Priestley probably had very different opinions on people and the world then what people do now.Its different type of generation now and has been for quiet some time, now people aren’t singled out because their class, but looks, style and maybe money, but not as much as before in the 1900’s.English Coursework continued. An Inspector CallsUsing Sheila in this essay shows more perhaps than another character, it shows one of Priestley’s stronger opinions of the world and its people .

Everyone in the world does wrong from small children to the elderly at some point in their lives, even the quite ones you see at school and on the streets have done wrong against someone, but how bad only their know, or maybe not just like Eva Smith she didn’t know by what she did it would lead to the death of Eva Smith. Priestley is trying to show us in this play that one bad word from you to another person can all that destroysthem.

Any comment or action we do could ruin some ones entire life within just seconds.Priestley attitude towards people is we need to watch what we say and think about it before we do or say anything, because in that one heated moment of one minute it could ruins someone’s lifetime. A more obvious attitude or opinion towards Mrs Birling and Sheila is to teach a lesson. Not everyone cares for others, one moment in time it may seem as if they do, as if they are really sorry and regretful, but those feelings always pass a lot quicker than others would hope for or believe.

It just shows how cruel the world can be, how wealth can affect you and you emotions towards others in so many ways unimaginable.Priestley shows an attitude of how people differ, just because you may have learnt a lesson and understands the importance of it now; it doesn’t mean everyone will, in this it’s the same blood but different minds.Priestley is trying to tell us that the world is full of individuals, some good, and some bad. We can’t expect to change them all. The world is full of millions of Eva Smiths and John Browns.

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