An Inspector Calls: Sheila Birling

Maira Akhtar
Mind Map by Maira Akhtar, updated more than 1 year ago
Maira Akhtar
Created by Maira Akhtar over 3 years ago


GCSE English Mind Map on An Inspector Calls: Sheila Birling, created by Maira Akhtar on 11/22/2016.

Resource summary

An Inspector Calls: Sheila Birling
1 Sheila Birling is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Birling and sister to Eric. She is engaged to Gerald Croft.
1.1 She is initially pleased and excited at the prospect of her marriage.
1.2 She is distressed when she hears that a young woman, Eva Smith, has taken her own life.
1.3 She reveals that she was responsible for Eva Smith's dismissal from Milward's shop.
1.4 She recognises Inpector Goole cannot be lied to.
1.5 She breaks off her engagement to Gerald when she discovers he had an affair with Daisy Renton.
1.6 She reveals that Eric drinks too much
1.7 She acknowledges her part in Eva Smith's downfall and takes the Inspector's words to heart.
2 From all the characters, Sheila changes the most. She is greatly troubled when she realises that her petty jealousy at Milwards meant such hardship for Eva Smith. She respects Gerald's honesty about his affair, but also has the courage to break off the engagement.
3 At the beginning of Act 1, Sheila is lively, chiding Gerald: "I should jolly well think not" Although he protests that Gerald neglected her the previous year, her overall mood at this time is carefree. This allows Priestley to create a dramatic contrast in Sheila's mood after the inspector arrives.
4 Sheila feels shock at the death of a young women, revealing that she can't imagine someone not having a lot to live for.
4.1 "Oh - how horrible! Was it an accident?"
4.1.1 Shows her naivety to assume that someone could drink a fatal amount of disinfectant "by accident"
5 Although bitter, her curiosity needs to be satisfied and she is strong enough to hear the full story.
5.1 "I wouldn't miss it for worlds"
5.1.1 Reveals her bitterness at Gerald's affair.
6 She is strong enough to accept responsibility for what she has done and to feel regret.
6.1 "I had her turned out of her job"
6.1.1 Shows she can confront her bad behaviour,
7 Sheila believes that it doen't matter whether the Inspector is a real police officer or not. She is only concerned that they all harmed someone.
7.1 "it's you two who are being childish - trying not to face the facts"
7.1.1 She recognises her parents fault and their failure to acknowledge them.
8 At first, Sheila is playful and egotistical, but becomes serious and troubled at the news of a young woman's death. She questions her own behaviour and regrets her treatment of Eva Smith. Sheila also fully accepts the Inspector's words and is distressed when her parents do not.
9 "I went to the manager of Milwards and I told him that if they didn't get rid of that girl, I'd never go near the place again"
9.1 Sheila went to Milwards and she was in furious temper and told the manager to get rid of Eva Smith.
9.1.1 Sheila used her family name (power) to get rid of Eva Smith.
10 "What - what did this girl look like?"
10.1 Shows that Sheila is very eager to find out about Eva Smith's death but he isn't aware that she has something to do with her death.
11 "No, not really. It was my own fault"
11.1 Sheila feels guilty about Daisy Renton's death and accepts responsibility.
12 Sheila is presented as Priestley's voice.
13 Her views are contrasted with typical upper class views.
14 Her views contrast in generation gap.
15 She is presented as a warning to others.
16 Sheila becomes stronger and copes with Gerald's affair.
17 Sheila sees and supports the inspectors values.
18 Sheila is truthful in her responses
19 Sheila is prepared to criticise her parents
20 Sheila's comment, "What do you mean by saying that? You talk as if we were responsible" is ironic because the audience suspect that the Birling's and Gerald do bear some responsibility for Eva Smith's death. Through these words of Sheila's, Priestley alerts the audience tot he possibility of the characters' involvement.
21 The Inspectors Bluntness and unsparing criticism of Sheila's behaviour does not make her dislike or disapprove of him. On the contrary, she is drawn to him and stares at him, "wonderingly". His mysterious presence affects her and she finds that she agrees with his view. The audience is witnessing how the Inspector is influencing the young.
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