Which character in “An Inspector Calls” do you think is the most likeable and why? Give reasons for your answers and briefly discuss why you did not choose the other characters? As I have read the play “An inspector calls” written by J. B Priestly, I believe that Shelia Birling is my most likable character, out of all the characters. Shelia comes across as sweet caring women, but as you read on, you get the feeling she is a jealous girl with a temper.
From the beginning of ‘Act one’ you wouldn’t think Shelia would be capable of provoking the suicide of Eva Smith. Sheila’s actions towards Eva were wrong, and selfish. Eva gets sacked from her job, where she worked for Arthur Birling, after asking for a ‘pay rise’ in 1910 at the end of September. Eva the found a job elsewhere as she was left with no money. She was working in Millwards. The Birling’s were regular customers at Millwards. Shelia was there one day, and tried a dress on.
Eva was explaining something to her other customer and leaned the dress up against her. Eva and her customer was smiling and Shelia took it as if they were implying; “Don’t she look awful”. Sheila’s jealously then kicked in and she went to the manager of Millwards and demanded that;” If they don’t get rid of Eva, I’d never go near that place again, and I’d persuade my mother to close the account”. As Shelia’s mother Sybil was a great customer to Millwards they wouldn’t want to loose Sybil and The Birlings family’s custom.
Shelia’s actions were wrong, selfish and self centred. She was quick enough to get Sheila the sack from Millwards and leave Eva with nothing but then she feels guilty and sorry straight away. The inspector shows Shelia the picture of ‘Eva Smith’ and she immediately say’s; “I felt rotten at the time and now I feel a lot worse”. She shows a lot of guilt. Sheila’s parents think that she is childish person in this play. Out of all the characters she shows her guilt and honesty, and faces up to the consequences she has put herself in.
She says to her father; “But these girls aren’t cheap labour. Sheila also makes me think that she likes to be treated, as she would treat others as finding out Gerald as cheated on her she says to him; “I respect you more now than I ever have before and at least you have been honest”. Sheila tells the truth so she wants the truth and honesty back. Out of all her family Sheila I the only one who is most honest and truthful. As for the other characters such as; Mrs Sybil Birling.
Sybil seems one of the caring types of women to start of with, but when the blame is put on her she decides to blame the father but when she finds out it’s her son Eric she is ashamed of him. Sybil is proud of her family and don’t like to think any of them would do wrong. She turned Eva away just because she called her Mrs Birling! She keeps putting the blame on someone else. I didn’t choose Sybil as my most likable character as she is very snobbish and selfish.