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Characters Of An Inspector Calls Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

Characters of An Inspector Calls

The inspector arrives at the Birling's house in the evening, during a
family get-together to celebrate the engagement of their daughter to
Gerald Croft. The inspector questions every member of the family
individually, starting with Mr. Birling. Mr & Mrs Birling who do not
like the way the inspector is interrogating them, get angry with him,
and accuse him of being rude. However Sheila, Mr & Mrs Birling's
daughter, and Gerald are honest, and can face their mistakes. This is
one of the reasons why I like Sheila and Gerald, and dislike Mr & Mrs
Birling.

Sheila is a young and pretty girl, who is honest and likes it when
other people are truthful. We know this because when the Inspector
shows her the photograph of Eva Smith, she says, "You knew it was me
all the time, didn't you?" Here she admits straightaway that she had a
part to play in the death of Eva Smith. Unlike Mr & Mrs Birling who
put up excuses every time the Inspector catches them out. As I have
said before she also likes it when other people are sincere. We know
this because when the Inspector is questioning Gerald about his affair
with Eva Smith he asks him if he was in love with her. At first Gerald
hesitates to come out with the truth but when he gets persuaded by
Sheila to tell the truth he says, "All right-I did for a time. Nearly
every man would have done." Sheila's reply to that is "That's probably
about the best thing you've said tonight. At least it's honest."
Sheila objects to her parents attempts to protect her from unpleasant
truths; I'm not a child, don't forget. I've a right to know.' At the
end of the play she feels that, whilst for a time it had seemed as
though her parents had learnt something about themselves and their
society, once they saw a 'way out', they simply returned to how they
were at the beginning. Sheila has an attractive and essentially honest
character, and lacks the cold-blooded attitude of her parents. Her
unpleasant complaint against Eva is probably the most helpless action
of all. The only positive feature is that Sheila felt bad about it at
the time, regretted it deeply later, and is honest enough to admit her
share of the responsibility for Eva's suicide. When she finds out that
she had a part to play in her death she becomes sympathetic and says,
if I could help her now, I would.' This shows her condolence for the
girl.

Gerald is the second character I like in the play; he is also young
and truthful. Gerald's first desire is to cover up his involvement
with Eva, when the Inspector asks him about the girl Gerald says,
'Where did you get the idea that I knew her?' here Gerald tries to
hide his relationship with Eva Smith, but its no use and he has to
admit it in the end. However unlike Mr and Mrs Birling, he shows
genuine sorrow when the news of her death finally sinks in. When Eva's
death hits him properly he becomes shocked and says, ' I've suddenly
realised-taken it...

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