Sheila starts out the story as a self-absorbed girl, preoccupied with her own feelings, who got Eva fired from her job at a department store because she was having a bad day and took out her anger on Eva for “smirking” when she tried on a gown that her mother did not want her to purchase and did not like how it fit. But as the story unfolds, she is also the first person to take moral responsibility for her actions and for her part in Eva’s suicide. She insists the rest of her family not dismiss or excuse their behavior, and breaks off her engagement with Gerald for his immoral actions and the abandonment of his mistress. Where the others seem eager to dismiss their responsibility and claim the entire incident was a hoax, she has the biggest change of heart in wanting to remember her shame in how she acted and change going forward. She catches on much quicker than the rest of her family to the reasons for the Inspector’s visit and the associations between them and the dead girl—assuming accurately that Gerald and Eva had an affair, that her brother Eric fathered Eva’s unborn child, and that the Inspector “can look into our very souls” and see them for their true selves. She wants to change going forward, and sees the bigger picture of how her selfish actions played a role in Eva’s decisions, even if at the moment she did them she was ashamed of herself and wrapped up in her own feelings. She is somewhat naïve and believes the best in situations, not wanting to think about the unpleasantness Eva had to face, but also harshly judging her father for firing her for no reason, and Gerald for using and then abandoning her. She doesn’t like “how men are” but also accepts that it inevitable for them to be unfaithful. She can be straightforward and blunt in how she confronts her fiancé and the rest of her family.

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Eva is always setting up boundaries between herself and others, and does not want to pushed around, told what to do, or told how she feels, but mostly she’s dealing with a lot of anger and resentment for other people’s bad behavior. She’s also ashamed of her own, when she had a fit of temper and got a girl fired “for no reason.” She quickly admits that was her fault, she felt bad about doing it, and she wishes she hadn’t done it. She doesn’t want her family to forget their actions or pretend none of it ever happened, and argues that they should accept their part in the blame for Eva’s decisions. She disapproves of Gerald’s actions, but also is willing to forgive him since she sees that he has genuinely made a mistake. She wavers between harsh judgments and being accepting of others and wanting them to love her.