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english murder mystery 'an inspector calls'

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Introduction

Read pages 36-39 and study Gerald' comments, he appears genuinely upset about the events. How sympathetic do you find Gerald as a character? Do you find his personality more attractive than the Birlings? Gerald is the only non Birling in the whole play that has anything to do with Eva Smith, in the sequence of events that built up to Eva Smith's suicide. Throughout the play he appears genuinely upset to hear of her departure, but what does he say or do to give this impression? The play 'An Inspector Calls' is about a young woman, Eva Smith, committing suicide due to an unlucky period of time, in which some dealings with a family called the Birlings continuously let her down to an extent she feels she has to take away her own life. Arthur, Sybil, Edna, Sheila and Eric Birling are the culprits involved, along with Gerald Croft who is engaged to Sheila. Gerald met Eva about six months before she died, in the palace bar and even at that early stage it seemed Gerald was looking out for Eva. He does this by getting rid of Alderman Meggarty, who Gerald believed was scaring Eva, or worse about to abuse her, 'I told her she didn't want any more of that sort of thing' page 35. ...read more.

Middle

In those days, it was generally the men who were homeless and not the women. This text is a clear comparison; page 37, between Gerald and the Birlings. Gerald is obviously more worried about Eva and hesitates when making his next comment when he is again asked whether he loved her. He again makes it clear that he did not take her in to deliberately fall in love with her, but only to give her food, protection and shelter. He also says that he 'didn't feel for her as she felt for him' again letting them know that no affair had occurred behind Sheila's back. The Birlings are obviously bothered that this is the first they have heard of Gerald looking after a woman, Eva, as they are continuously snappy and seem to be asking more questions than the inspector himself. 'How long did this affair last for?' and 'what did you get out of this?' page 38. They cannot seem to realise that Gerald is upset that Eva has died and the Birlings start getting very sarcastic when Sheila described Gerald as the 'fairy princess' and says that Gerald 'must have loved it all' referring to all the attention. Sarcasm was a new humour around then and had recently come into fashion. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe this as from the moment they met she trusted him (she followed him out of the palace bar, away from Alderman Meggarty) and as Gerald had already said that she loved him, so she is therefore not going to be to critical of the man she loved and had helped her continuously while her head was down. Throughout the whole play I find the Birlings very stuck up, and too worried about themselves, even when someone's life has been taken away. When the inspector asks why Mr Birling turned her on the streets, Mr Birling replies, 'I did what any employer would have done,' page 37. Mr Birling is trying to make himself look innocent to the inspector and the others, forgetting their feelings. This may be because of the date it was set, in the early 1900's it mattered a lot more what people thought of each other and good reputation was vital to be successful. Gerald, on the other hand, seemed more hesitant and worried about Eva and just wanted to answer the questions as quickly as possible, maybe to be by himself. He appears upset about Eva's life unlike the Birlings who neither appear sympathetic, nor any regret in their own actions. I see Gerald as a nicer personality than the Birlings and a lot more sympathetic. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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