Sheila is deeply affected by the Inspector’s visit compared to the other characters. As soon as the Inspector enters and introduces the victim to the family, Sheila was upset and depressed because of the misery she sensed which made her feel apologetic and guilty of what she had done to Eva Smith. Nonetheless the others were not interested and thought that they were not responsible for Eva’s death except for Eric.
Furthermore the Inspector has a mischievous attitude, with the intention of, made the rest of the family suspicious about him. Inspector Goole (as he addresses himself) is a sly and secretive individual who acts like a detective and uses his skills to make them confess the truth. The Inspector mentions society to be treated fairly and Mr Birling replies in an intolerable way, ”nonsense… a man has to make his own way.
” Priestly is trying to say that everyone should be working and helping each other where everyone can be equal. As the Inspector visits the Birlings who are celebrating an engagement, Sheila looks confused and feels depressed because she is suspicious of the Inspector and feels uncomfortable; (Sheila stares at him) ” wonderingly and dubiously ” whereas the others such as Mr and Mrs. Birling enters ” briskly and self confidently.
” This demonstrates that the audience is aware of the situation and expresses she is distrustful hence it illustrates that everyone reacts differently towards the Inspector. Additionally, Eric was the only one that reacted the same way as Sheila. Mr. Birling responded differently because he knew that it wasn’t his responsibility which led to Eva’s death; (he replies rather impatiently) ” Yes, yes. Horrid business. But I don’t understand why you should come here, Inspector.
” Similarly Mrs. Birling reacts the same way because they care about their reputation and business. Also Gerald reacted in a way that seemed to make it obvious that he knew her by giving himself away as soon as the Inspector mentioned Eva’s other name, Daisy Renton. ” What… D’ you mind if I give myself a drink, Sheila? At this point it seems clear to Sheila, the others and the audience that Gerald knew the victim and his ridiculousness excuse made it easier for