Sheila and Mr. Birling have very different characteristics. Sheila, being a much younger character, is quite impressionable, whereas Mr. Birling is not. Sheila’s attitude and views change as the story goes on, whereas Mr Birling refuses to change altogether. Their characteristics are shown in their reactions to Eva’s death, and to each other.
Mr. Birling is the father of Sheila Birling and considers himself to have a very high status in society. He is a prosperous factory owner, a local magistrate and ex-Lord Mayor of Brumley. He regards himself as being reasonable, but his first priority is to make money ‘it’s my duty to keep labour costs down’ and therefore pays his employees no more than the going rate. However, as the play continues further, we are shown how Sheila sees her father being exposed as a ‘hard headed business man’ and as an insensitive character. Sheila on the other hand is shown as being young, attractive, sensitive, an honest character. She is one of the very few characters in the play that is impressionable, and deeply affected by what the Inspector reveals to her family through the play.
Mr Birling and Sheila’s character have very few similarities. This is shown in the very first act, by the language both father and daughter use. Sheila uses slang, whereas Mr Birling, being a very ‘important’ and ‘respectable’ character, uses no such slang. ‘You’re squiffy’ she uses this expression to tell her brother, Eric that he is drunk. Her use of slang expressions, helps to emphasise her youth whereas Mr Birling’s words as well as language clearly emphasise how pompous he is. He is full of ‘self-importance’ and feels what he has to say is most important. When he interrupts Eric, ‘just let me finish, Eric,’ he doesn’t even stop to consider that Eric may have something of some importance to say.
However, at the beginning of the play, when Sheila’s story is revealed, she seems to have...