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The development of Sheila, one of the central characters of the second act, is very important to the play. She starts, in Act One, as “a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited,” and her excited reaction to Gerald’s engagement ring suggests she is comfortably settled in the economic and cultural traditions of her father. At the start of the play, she was suspicious of Gerald’s absence last summer, but showed no desire to investigate it further. Yet, by the end of the first act, she was openly mocking Gerald’s desire to keep his involvement in Eva’s life from the Inspector. Shortly before his exit, we see that Sheila similarly has the maturity to, without tears, accept that things are now different between her and Gerald, even unemotionally offering the symbolic gesture of the return of his ring. Maturely, she accepts her part of the responsibility for Eva’s death, noting that it is better that “at least [Gerald has] been honest.” Moreover, as she points out to him, “this has made a difference,” and the engagement will not be able to continue without serious reconsideration.