Gerald Croft is about thirty and is described as being, _‘an attractive chap’. _He has had a very affluent upbringing and is well known in the community. He is said to be, _‘well-bred’, _because his family are wealthy aristocrats.
In the beginning, Gerald comes across as a charming and confident man. He jokes with Mr Birling and mocks Eric’s behaviour; accusing him of being responsible for the Inspector calling.
As the play progresses so does his character. It is revealed that he is not as honest as he appears. His morals can be confused with opportunism. It is clear that Gerald must have a clean reputation and works hard to dismiss his involvement in the case.
- How is Gerald described?
- Your answer should include: Attractive / Well-bred
Gerald is the son of Sir and Lady Croft. His father owns a lucrative business called Crofts Limited which is a big, well established company.
His mother is described as coming from ‘an old country family – landed people’. It seems that his mother is disapproving of Gerald’s choice to marry someone of a lower social standing, hence her absence at the engagement meal. Despite this opposition, Gerald is confidently following his heart and going ahead with the proposal.
The play begins with the celebratory dinner for Gerald and Sheila who are announcing their engagement.
Despite Sheila’s clear excitement over her ring, she does raise concerns about the fidelity of her soon-to-be husband. In a ‘half-serious, half-playful’ _manner, she makes reference to _‘all last summer when you never came near me’ implying that she is suspicious about Gerald’s so-called business ventures.
- By what name does he know the victim?
- Daisy Renton
- How does he feel about the victim?
- Your answer should include: Sorry / Sad
Gerald is the son of Aristocrat parents. His father is a prominent figure in the community, because of his business. Therefore, Gerald has been born into this social status.
He doesn’t show signs of wanting to climb the social ladder for more prominence. He is comfortable with marrying a woman of a lower social ranking than himself.
In Act One, Gerald is one of the central figures, because of his proposal to Sheila Birling. He reassures Sheila that he loves her and has a good relationship with her father.
At the end of Act Two, he tries to evade the Inspector’s probes with regards to his involvement with the victim. Eventually, in Act Two, he reveals that he Daisy Renton was his mistress over the summer.
He was chivalrous in rescuing her from the Palace Bar but then their relationship developed the more they saw each other. He realised that he no longer wanted to pursue a relationship with Daisy and returned to Sheila Birling.
Gerald’s character poses the gap between the generations. There is a glimmer of hope that he wants to change and could take on socialist ideas. Initially, he is grieved to learn that the victim is Daisy Renton, because he was fond of her.
When he re-enters the scene in Act three, it is clear that his old-school capitalist mentality is primary. After his own investigation, he tries to redeem his behaviour by dismissing the Inspector’s credibility.
Overall, Gerald believes that people should be responsible for themselves. He doesn’t see it as wrong to take advantage of people for higher wages and pleasure.