Straight from the beginning of the play it is obvious that Sheila’s upbringing was very high in social status, ” Go on Mummy” The language JB Priestly uses for the way Sheila says the word mummy shows that she is a mummy’s girl and would never dream of letting her, or the reputation of the Birling family down so Sheila’s attitude has changed because she now cares about her actions and realises there are other things in life to think about besides herself and family.
She has changed most throughout the inspectors visit as she takes in what has happened and accepts responsibility for playing a part in this girls suicide, “yes, and it was I who had the girl turned out of Milwards. ” Sheila was in a way spoilt, not just as a child but as she got older as well. She used the fact that her father was a highly thought of businessman in the Brumley community to have this girl turned out of the only job she could find for no good reason, ” and so you used the power you had to punish this girl because you were jealous.
” Sheila speaks to the inspector and to her family admitting that she knows what she did was wrong. The inspector finishes questioning Sheila so asks her to leave but she refuses and stays to listen to the further questioning of her family. This shows that maybe deep down she knows that what she has done is more serious than she first thought. Mrs Birling assures her that it is nothing but, “morbid curiosity. ”
Throughout the inspectors visit Sheila tells every member of her family that what they had done between them was terrible yet she is still the only one that takes responsibility for it, ” Mother you must have known” She tries to make them see that not one but all of them helped to end this girls life. After the inspector leaves the Birling family are relieved but are left with a feeling of guilt that from now on they should think before they act!
JB Priestly uses the inspector’s character as his mouthpiece, to put his thoughts and ideas into the play. He does not blame any one of the characters individually but blames them all, ” all intertwined with our lives, with what we think say and do we are not alone, and we are all responsible for each other. ” The inspector explains that whatever we believe other people are; we shouldn’t judge them or be prejudice against them with out getting to know them. Whatever we say and do leaves an impression, and you never know how deep it will go.