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Sheila and Eric

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 2 (500 words)
Categories: Book Review, Books And Reading, Literature
Downloads: 16
Views: 1

Even when Eric tries to cut his father off, Birling continues which makes him look even more ignorant in our eyes. He says that there ‘isn’t a chance of War’, and the world is ‘developing so fast that War is impossible’. He also declares that the Titanic was ‘absolutely unsinkable’. On its first voyage, the Titanic sunk, and two years after this play was set War was declared. Because of this dramatic irony Birling looks eve more ignorant and stupid, and now also seems stubborn to the audience.

This worsens the audiences’ opinion on Mr.Birling. Priestley also explores the themes of social class and responsibility by two other characters, Sheila and Eric. Upon hearing of Eva’s gruesome death, Eric is the only one who comments emotionally, as he calls ‘My God! ‘ involuntarily. He also comments when his father claims to have discharged her, and asks “is that why she committed suicide? “.

Eric begins to turn on his own father and argue against him, taking the side of the Inspector. Birling defends himself but Eric shows more sympathy towards Eva.

For example, Birling indicates to the inspector that he told the people he fired that “England is a free country”, but Eric argues that “It isn’t if you can’t go and work somewhere else”. It is easy to compare the way Eric and Birling feel about other people in this dialogue. They seem to speak from two different sides of a battle; Birling claims he hasn’t done anything wrong, but Eric will not believe his father. Sheila also shows sympathy towards Eva. She makes a relatively long speech explaining her feeling about the girl’s agony. She states that she ‘couldn’t help thinking about this girl – destroying herself so horribly’.

This emphasises the detail of Eva’s painful death, and makes us think harder about how horrible hr death really was. The inspector, instead of trying to make her feel better, adds t her misery by mentioning the poor quality of life Eva was leading before she passed away. He claims she had to put up with ‘Two months, with no work, no money coming in, and living in lodgings’, and that she had ‘no relatives to help her, few friends’ and she was also apparently ‘lonely’ and ‘feeling desperate’. Sheila replies to this, stating ‘It’s a rotten shame’ for Eva to have gone through this.

Another example of Sheila showing her true feelings for poor people is when she points out “These girls aren’t cheap labour – they’re people”. The reason why Sheila and Eric feel pity for Eva is probably because they heard of her poor living conditions; nobody would like to ‘live in lodgings’ and have no money. Sheila and Eric clearly have much stronger socialist views than their father, as Birling doesn’t seem to think he has any responsibility over the matter. Sheila and Eric are in a younger generation, the same one as Eva, and are more sympathetic to the plight of the working classes.

Cite this essay

Sheila and Eric. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/sheila-and-eric-2-9110-new-essay

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