Essay On Mr Birling In An Inspector Calls

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How does Mr Birlings reaction to the Inspectors interrogation differ to that of his daughter Sheila? During the interrogation scene involving the characters of the Inspector, Mr Birling and Sheila in act 1, there are several contrasts between Mr Birling and his daughter’s behaviour. First of all, their characteristics are shown as incredibly different from the beginning and they do not reflect upon one another, despite the fact they are related. Mr Birling is portrayed as a pompous, wealthy businessman who has a keen interest in local politics. However, Sheila is displayed as a more sincere character who shows signs of sympathy and repentance later on when Eva Smiths suicide is introduced. When the questioning begins, the Inspector…show more content…
He begins to draw others into the tragedy of Eva Smith’s life and death. He attracts the sympathy and compassion of Sheila and of the audience by his clear and hard-hitting description of the girls misery. After the inspector informs Sheila, she portrays a distressed and agitated type of behaviour. On page 17 she says ‘Sorry! Its just I cant help thinking about this girl-destroying her life so horribly.’ This shows Sheila feels commiseration and sensitivity towards Eva and her death which comes across as genuine regret when she realises she could be linked to her suicide. Mr Birling interrupts her questioning by becoming even more aggressive when trying to defend her daughter. The phrase ‘why the devil do you want to go upsetting a child like that’ that he uses shows he is more concerned that his daughter has been affected by feelings of guilt and shame for what they might have done to Eva Smith. He doesn’t realise the depth of the familys involvement and still feels able to be bitter and outspoken towards the inspector. However, this does impact the inspector at all because he continues his questioning with Sheila further. This is when Sheila changes to a more regretful and heartfelt tone. She says ‘Ill never, never do it again to anybody’ which advocates genuine regret. By repeating the word ‘never’ shows that Sheila has learnt her lesson and feels determined never
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