How does Priestly present Gerald in "An Inspector Calls"?

Authors Avatar by zactaibel1hotmailcom (student)

In the opening stage directions, Priestley refers to Gerald as “too manly to be dandy but very much the easy well bred- young man-about-town”

 How does Priestley present these and other ideas about Gerald in An Inspector Calls?

“An inspector calls” was written by J.B. Priestly in 1945. It was set in a Midland Industrial town in 1912. The plot of this dramatic play is based around a visit by an inspector to an apparently normal and well-respected family. All the characters are affected by the death of Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton, Gerald unlike the other characters showed sympathy towards Daisy Renton he had feelings for her but knew could not follow up on them due to hi social class.

Gerald is descried at the start of the play as “easy well bred- young man-about-town”, this gives the audience the sense that Gerald gets on easily with other people he is self-confident and assured. Gerald is in a higher social class than the Birling family, and his father is business rivals with “Birling and company”, however “Crofts Limited are both older and bigger” than Mr Birling company. Gerald’s parents are not pleased with the engagement, as the Birling family are in a lower class, however Gerald is not bothered by this, which shows how he values love more than social class, however it is not the same story when he meets Daisy Renton, and he knows he can’t marry her or be with her due to social class.

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Gerald is portrayed as a liar, as when Shelia questions him about last summer "last summer, when you never came near me." He is dismissive, and tries to cover it up although the audience and Shelia both know that something was going on. The regular references to Gerald disappearance, last summer and when he goes off stage to “clear his head” makes the audience wonder about him.  It makes them believe that he is hiding something.

Gerald is engaged to Shelia, but there relationship is not cemented as Shelia does not fully trust him. When Gerald is about to tell ...

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