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Character Analysis - Gerald Croft.

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Introduction

CHARACTER ANALYSIS: GERALD CROFT (NOTES) In the opening stage directions Gerald is perceived to be a self-assured, well mannered "man-about-town" and he attempts to do and say what he hope Mr. & Mrs. Birling will agree with. His true personality is not exposed until the Inspector interrogates him and pricks his conscience. Additionally, he is persistent on being part of the family, as by marrying Sheila, it follows the social regulations: "Gerald: ...I insist on being part of the family now. I've been trying long enough haven't I? (As she does not rely, with more insistence.) Haven't I? You I know I have."(Act 1) The repetition of "haven't I?" further enhances his longing to be part of the Birling family as they are recognized and looked up upon in society. Moreover, this portrays his narcissistic and superficial mentality. Gerald's relationship with Sheila becomes evident in Act 1. Sheila loves Gerald and feels he's a "good catch", however Gerald doesn't have any deep feelings for her. Gerald in return expresses his love for Sheila by presenting to her an engagement ring; this could also have been an attempt to reduce her anger with him over his "busy period at work". Even though Gerald has an intimate relationship with Sheila he does not consider it seriously as he fools around at bars and nightclubs looking for women to accompany him when he is away from Sheila. ...read more.

Middle

as they thought and the only way to continue the relationship was to restart and express themselves truly towards one another, so they could overcome difficult problems that may arise in their future. Gerald's lack of commitment and Infidelity is exposed when he unsuccessfully attempts to disguise his connection with the deceased girl but his efforts make the exposure more unpleasant. Gerald consequently tries to protect Sheila from knowing, however Sheila knew this was coming. Sheila in fact new even before the inspectors entrance: "Sheila: ...never came near me, and I wondered what had happened to you."(Act 1) showing their unsteady relationship as they are not yet certain of each other and each one has not been able to make themselves trustworthy to their counterpart as their relationship has been dominated with lies. After Gerald's confession she realized why Gerald was so distant, due to his affair with the young lady, Daisy Renton. In the opening of the play he compliments and agrees with every speech made by Mr. and Mrs. Birling as an attempt to deceive them of his true personality. His true self disgusts the Birlings as they hear about his relationship with Daisy Renton, as Mrs. Birling expresses her feelings, " It's disgusting to me." His opening speeches were very short and brief as he needs to ensure he does not confess anything that might interfere the marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

If Eva Smith is dead then it will look very bad in the public eye. He only cares whether Eva smith is dead or not for Mr. Birling'sake, to make him feel content. He like Mr. Birling has a very superficial and narrow outlook towards life. The only care about there public appeal and profits. Though, you can't blame them, as they don't know any better and that's the way they have been raised. Overall, Gerald is generally a good man, however since he has grown up in a high class he has difficulty in expressing his true feelings. Gerald treats women with respect but his treatment of Sheila is questionable, if he loved her why did he cheat on her and lie to her and then try and cover it up whether what happened was a genuine mistake or not. The message the inspector was trying to get across is primarily about the theme responsibility. Moreover, you are not alone in the world so if you want people to care about you, you have to care about them. However, Gerald failed to realize this, as soon as he realized the inspector was a fake. Though this might not be the case because Gerald is a very good liar. He is always on "show", impressing Mr. and Mrs. Birling and taking their side. So Gerald's character is very complex and his true personality doesn't come through clearly. ...read more.

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