1.1 The man who sheila is engaged to at the start of the play. Like Birling, he is a man of business: 'Crofts Limited'
and recognises that the marriage is also good for business. In Birling's words, "lower costs and higher prices.
1.2 Lies to Sheila about "all last summer... you never came near me", when audience learns he knew Daisy Renton.
1.3 Sheila is determined to learn the truth and stays to hear about Gerald's behaviour.
1.5 Sheila won't accept his ring "too soon" and the audience knows this couple, if they are to marry, must have a great deal
must learn a great deal more about what they are really like. From this there is a feeling Sheila has changed too much.
2 Social Class
2.1 Gerald is of a high social class (an Aristocrat). Note his parents don't come to the engagement party and
Preistley shows us how marriage is used to climb the social ladder, just as Birling did when he married Sybil.
2.2 At the end of the play, he has not changed. He has not gained a new sense of social
responsibility, which is why Sheila (who has) is unsure whether to take back the engagement ring.
2.3 At the beginning of the play Gerald appears to be very polite and well mannered. "Absolutely first-class"
He seems to be enthusiastic and wants to fit in with the family. "I insist upon being one of the family now."
2.4 He takes his social status for granted
and can be seen as arrogant and aloof.
2.5 Unlike Eric and Sheila, Gerald is more concerned with proving it was all "nonsense" and shows
no real sense of guilt about his behaviour. The stage direction used is "triumphantly", the same
used for Mr Birling. Priestley is showing has not learnt any of the Inspector's moral lessons.
3 Inspector's interrogation & Eva Smith/Daisy Renton
3.1 When the Inspector describes Birling's sacking of Eva Smith, Gerald says
"we'd have done the same thing" and tells the Inspector "We're not criminals".
3.2 On hearing the name 'Daisy Renton' he becomes nervous and,
for a moment, attempts to hide the truth from the Inspector.
3.3 He did have some genuine feeling for Daisy Renton, however: he is very moved when he hears of her death.
He tells Inspector Goole that he arranged for her to live in his friend's flat "because I was sorry for her;" she
became his mistress because "She was young and pretty and warm-hearted - and intensely grateful."
3.4 He is honest as he describes using 'Charlie Brunswick's rooms for their affair and accepts Daisy loved him.
3.5 We see a man who takes advantage of a lonely girl who knew "it couldn't last" and made her his mistress until he ended it
3.6 He would never have married a member of the proletariat like Eva/Daisy, so he used her
as his mistress. However the Inspector recognises that he had "some affection for her".
3.7 Even then, he rejects any responsibility for Eva. "I hadn’t set eyes on the girl for at least six months. I don’t come into this suicide business".
3.8 Gerald was kind to Daisy but in the end treated her like so many men in a careless way and life
was very hard for her afterwards; especially more so as he had shown her how good life could be.
4 Appearance & Personality
4.1 In some ways he is a sympathetic character, at times he feels sorry for his treatment of Daisy Renton and he's honest
about his behaviour. BUT he ends up joining the more conservative older generation like Birling and looks to ignore
the Inspector's powerful words and warnings that there are "Millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths".
4.2 Traditional man, buys the ring for Sheila: "Is this the one you wanted me to have?".
4.3 He is described as "an attractive chap about thirty, rather too manly
to be a dandy but very much the easy well-bred man-about-town".
4.4 Can be seen as somewhat of a hypocrite when it is revealed he visits prostitutes and does not
give Sheila the attention she desires, but at the beginning of the twentieth century it was not
uncommon for men of Gerald’s class and status to have a ‘mistress’ and that could be the
reason the family, with the exception of Sheila, takes the news of Gerald’s affair reasonably well.
4.5 Business minded, even marriage to
him could be used as a business tactic.
4.6 Priestley cleverly links the play with the seven deadly sins. As the majority of his audience was Christian at the
time and the seven deadly sins were part of Christian teachings, they would find it easy to relate to the seven
deadly sins. Each character is linked with one of the sins. Gerald’s sin is lust; he had an affair with Eva. The
strong correlation towards the seven deadly sins clearly helps the Christian audience at the time to understand
that each of the characters did things that could happen in everyday life and that these things are wrong.