An Inspector Calls

how are eric and shelia portrayed as sympathetic in An Inspector Calls?

I.e, through evidence, quotes, stage directions, structure, language and emotional responses and why Priestly does this and what effect it could have on the audience. Also what does that say about the theme of Young VS Old.

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Both characters own up to their role in the death of Eva Smith. This helps makes them sympathetic characters. They do not hide behind wealth or lineage. Priestley describes Shelia as "a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited," which is precisely how she comes across in the first act of the play. In the second and third acts, however, following the realization of the part she has played in Eva Smith's life, she matures and comes to realize the importance of the Inspector's message. Eric is in his "early twenties, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive" and, we discover very early in the play, has a drinking problem. He has been drinking steadily for almost two years. He works at Birling and Company, and his father, we presume, is his boss. He is quite naive, in no way as worldly or as cunning as Gerald Croft. By the end of the play, like his sister, Eric becomes aware of his own responsibilities.