AIC essay

How do the readers respond to Gerald? Q :)

HideShow resource information
Preview of AIC essay

First 693 words of the document:

How do you respond to Gerald in an Inspector Calls? How does Priestley make you respond the
way you do by the way he writes?
- Way we respond
- disgust - he cheated on sheila and was at the palace bar
- admiration - at beginning/he was the only one who helped eva
- pity - he seemed to love eva abit and was sad about her death
- disappointed - he did not learn anything about the experience
The play An Inspector Calls is about an Inspector investigating the Birling family and Gerald Croft
about the suicide of Eva Smith. Gerald Croft is engaged to Sheila Birling and is , as all the
characters are, partly responsible for the death of Eva Smith. Throughout the play Priestly
presents Gerald in a range of ways to make the reader feel a range of feelings about him.
Our first introduction to Gerald portrayed him to be a polite young gentleman - " (politely)" who is
very complimentary and respectful of what his future father in law says. However although for a
short time us as readers like Gerald, we then become suspicious of him as Sheila mentions how `he
hardly came near her' last summer. After Gerald defends himself, this does not seem particularly
suspicious but the fact the Priestly then chooses to make Eric `guffaw' confirms our doubt of
Gerald. When Gerald gives Sheila the ring, it is almost as if he is trying to make up for the flaw in
their relationship that we have just witnessed and is almost `buying her love'. At this point, Priestly
wants us to feel suspicious of Gerald both by his "insistence" to be part of the family which seems
somewhat strange and by last summer where we are cynical to whether he actually WAS at the
As the play unfolds, we have a completely different view of Gerald. As the Inspector arrives, we
hardly hear Gerald talk, showing he's not as `brave' as he seems to be. Also , we begin to dislike
him as he agrees with Mr Birlings merciless firing of Eva " You couldn't have done anything else".
However the major turning point of our opinion is when the Inspector mentions the name `Daisy
Renton'. Priestley uses stage directions to show Geralds recognition of the name - "startled" and
"pulling himself together". This is the first linkage we see of Eva Smith and Gerald. Our opinion of
him worsens as he pretends to not have not known Eva, or Sheila to keep his pretence of a
respectable gentlemen. We are now confirmed that he is hiding something, and something that
could potentially damage his relationship with Sheila, which is why he is hiding it. We then learn
that he was with Daisy the time he was `busy at the work' portraying him to not only be a potential
cheater but also a liar. The fact that Gerald still wants to hide this fact from the Inspector -
"Don't say anything to the Inspector" also lowers our opinion of him - he doesn't want to face up
to his involvement and denies it straight away - " I don't come into this suicide business".
As we learn the details of Geralds affair we begin to feel almost disgusted at him. The first point
that Gerald was in the palace bar - " a favourite haunt of the woman of the town" lowers him in our
eyes as it is a place for prostitutes, even though Gerald was engaged at the point. This also
makes us question the higher class and their moral standards as even if they were already married
or engaged it did not stop them going there , even if it was "for a drink" as Gerald says. When we

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Gerald did in fact keep Eva as his `mistress' we are confirmed that he is a cheater, and
even begin side with Mrs Birling who says the affair is "disgusting" to her.
Although we think badly of Gerald , we also admire him to a certain extent. He is the only character
who truly cared about Eva , though he "did not feel the same way about her" as she felt about him.…read more



what did you get out of 30 for this ? :)

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all resources »