How Does Priestly Transform Sheila Birling

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How does Priestly transform Sheila Birling’s character from being unsympathetic to sympathetic? This question is asking you to analyse and describe Sheila Birling’s character and the changes throughout the play. Priestly portrays Sheila Birling as a ‘half serious, half playful’ character in the stage directions. As the audience witness her character within the play they intend to think of Shelia as a childish yet responsible woman. During act 1 the audience recognise one of Sheila’s characteristics by her use of careless language. ‘You must drink to our health’ this reinforces the fact that Sheila’s engagement has engulfed her mind leaving her to think carelessly about anything else. The phrase ‘our health’ quoted by Sheila foreshadows the death of Eva Smith which later she will know about leaving her engagement mood shattered As the play progresses, Sheila’s character develops from being unsympathetic to sympathetic. ‘And I know I’m to blame- and I’m desperately sorry’ this clearly states that she has developed maturity as she shows her sympathetic feeling along with holding responsibility by taking blame for what she had done. ‘Desperately sorry’ this emphasises the point stated that Priestly develops Sheila’s character as the play progresses. At the end of the play, the audience perceive that Shelia’s character is totally contrasting to that of Mrs Birling because, Mrs Birling does not feel remorse for her unethical and undutiful actions towards Eva Smith by Shelia but Shelia acts in a mature and sensible manner. She realises the mistakes that she has made and is willing to act accountable for them. At the end of act three, Gerald claims for everything to be alright and normal, Sheila replies ‘no, not yet. It’s too soon, I must think.’ This implies that Sheila feels as if it is to her families confessions realising they are all untruthful to her ‘so
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