After ‘washing away her sins’ Sheila walks towards the light as if she is walking into a new life where she has no secrets. The rain and light symbolise purity and change in Sheila, the rain represents her rebirth, new life from now on and her body language is open. In Act Three when the Birling family realise the Inspector was a fake mr Birling and Mrs Birling drown out Sheila’s voice with their happiness, as the parents start to build their Capitalist lives back together Sheila and Eric stand outside the house symbolising that they don’t want to live their lives how they did before the Inspector came.
Sheila has changed and developed and is now a Socialist. Throughout the play Sheila Birling changed and developed. In Act One she was materialistic and could not stand up for herself, however in Act Two and Three she sees a different light and realises that she was a bad Capitalist and needed to change for the better. I think she has mainly changed because of the Inspector, if he had not of visited the family she would have still been selfish and a strong Capitalist who depended on her mother for approval.
I believe that the point Priestly was trying to make was that people needed to be more caring about their community and the people in it. Priestley uses the character of the Inspector to convey his own thoughts, feelings and opinions about social issues. However, he also uses other characters, particularly Mr. Birling, to show the audience how cynical some people can be. J. B Priestly believed a great deal in Socialism. I think that Priestley set this play in 1912 for a reason. Arthur Birling is a rich businessman who thinks very highly of himself, even though he is often wrong.
Arthur’s family respect him and listen intently to his ideas that ‘there isn’t a chance of war’ and the Titanic is ‘unsinkable. ‘ As the play was written in 1947 and set in 1912, this is an example of dramatic irony and the audience would know that Arthur was very wrong in his opinions and might even think him to be stupid. When he says ‘the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you’d think everybody has to look after everybody else’, he explicitly says that he is a strong Capitalist and is narrow minded.
Priestley wanted the audience to have a low opinion of Birling because he was discouraging at Capitalist politics and trying to show people like Mr Birling to be in the wrong. I feel Priestly wanted to teach the audience community and socialism is always a better way of living than being a capitalist.