sheila and gerald and eva

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  • Gerald and his relationships with Eva and Sheila
    • Eva
      • he is apparently honest about his and Eva's relative affection for one another, but admits enjoying her admiration of him as a Fairy Prince
        • he speaks affectionately of Daisy, and had behaved chivalrously towards her (Joe Meggarty, meal, accommodation, money)
      • he is honest about seeing Eva, admitting he lied to Sheila
        • Gerald's behaviour and words hurt Sheila, shown by her sarcastic comments and tone 'with sharp sarcasm' 'with irony'
          • Sheila is determined to stay and hear Gerald's confession, there is an area of her fiance's life of which she knows nothing, and she is becoming aware of this
            • Sheila respects Gerald's honesty, but is visibly hurt by the admission of his affair with Eva
        • Gerald's admission of his affair is a cruel blow to Sheila on her engagement day, she interrupts her mother abruptly to get the truth about it
          • Sheila realises that she and Gerald do not know each other well enough and gives him back the engagement ring
            • In the aftermath of the Inspector's visit Sheila defers any decision about marrying Gerald
              • She has become a more mature and changing person, aware of her responsib-ilities to others and to herself, whereas Gerald is still more concerned about restablishing a socially advant-ageous alliance
        • relationship crisis
      • he openly tells the family that the affair was not disgusting, but refuses to give details to Sheila
        • Gerald needs to make sure that his side of the story is told properly and understood by the Birling family 'hesitatingly', directly addressing Mrs B to contradict an earlier point
      • he is dispassion-ate about his breaking off the affair with Eva but also admits feeling bad about it
        • Priestley's use of actor's voice, dashes which may indicate hesitation, lying, uncertainty, consideration or remorse
      • he had given her an 'allowance' but admits his parting gift was not much
      • he knew nothing of where she went suggesting he had not tried hard to find out, but does ask the Inspector a series of questions now about this
      • he seems to be affected by the recollection of Eva and needs to be alone
        • Gerald appears to have deep feelings and some self-recrimination 'low, troubled tone', 'gravely'
    • Sheila + the engagement party - Act 1
      • he has lied to Sheila about his whereabouts the previous summer
        • 'I was awfully busy at the works all that time'
        • Sheila seems unhappy with Gerald's 'disappearance' the previous summer
        • she appears to still to be unsure of his motives
      • he tries to dupe Sheila into believing that he has been trying for a long time to become a member of the family, yet he was away most of the summer
      • He seems to regard Sheila as a well-won prize, and well deserved
      • Gerald had chosen the engagement moment with care and consideration and behaves gallantly in a socially acceptable way, impressing Mr and Mrs B and making Sheila excited and happy
      • Sheila's half-serious, half-playful, mock-aggressive tone suggests that Gerald does not give her confidence to be really comfortable in his company
        • Sheila teases Gerald, 'half-playful, half-serious' way
      • Gerald is a mixture of egocentricity and humility
        • 'hope I can make you as happy as you deserve to be'
        • 'you can drink to me'
          • they drink to one another
      • Gerald spoils a normally private moment of giving an engagement ring, turning it into a public demonstration by producing it in public
      • he gives her the ring in the box
      • his smile when she sees the ring could be considered evidence of self-congratulation
        • Sheila is genuininely pleased with her engagement ring and appears to be in love with Gerald
      • he does not respond to Sheila's hasty kiss of thanks, and indeed says nothing more to Sheila before she exits
      • Mrs B acknowledges his adroitness
        • 'That was clear of you, Gerald'
      • later in the play there are sharp and bitter exchanges between Gerald and Sheila as the tension increases
      • his suggestion that she take the ring back may be construed as thoughtless and insensitive
    • Sheila's confession
      • during her own confession Sheila turns on Gerald when she feels he is judging her, indicating a lack of understanding between them
        • relationship flounders
      • after her confession she calls Gerald a 'fool' and warns him not to lie to the Inspector


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