Gerald Croft Cheat Sheet: Quotes + Notes
A confident and charming man?
Gerald is key to An Inspector Calls. But before we can understand his quotes, we must analyse his character.
1/4: Gerald Croft's Character Notes
Gerald Croft works at his father's company, Crofts Limited, which is both bigger and older than Birling & Co.
Unlike the Birlings, his family is rich by bloodline ('old money'). Croft is a member of the elite that Mr Birling so keenly wishes to impress.
He is engaged to be married to Sheila Birling. His parents, Sir George Croft and Lady Croft, are above the Birlings (Mr Birling and Mrs Birling) socially, and it seems his mother disapproves of his engagement to Sheila.
J. B. Priestly describes Gerald as "an attractive chap about thirty ... very much the easy well-bred young-man-about-town." He is one of the characters to be questioned by Inspector Goole.
Now that we have understood the character, we can look into his quotes. To achieve Grade 9, there is also an Inspector Calls text guide by CGP.
2/4: Gerald Croft's Key Quotes
- At the start of the play, he cannot see how he could be involved in Eva Smith’s (Daisy Renton’s) suicide. ‘I don’t come into this suicide business.’. This is also a foreshadowing tool used by Priestley.
- Page 18: 'It's what happened to her after she left Mr Birling' work that's important.'
- Page 26: 'I don't come into this suicide business.'
- Page 31: 'Mrs Birling, the inspector knows all that. And I don't think it's a very good idea to remind him'
- Sudden realisation. Page 35: 'Sorry- I- well, I've suddenly realized- taken it in properly- that she's dead-'
- He tries to hide the truth from the Inspector (that he had been involved with Eva/Daisy) from the start, (‘we can keep it from him’) but Sheila criticises this. She noticed how he reacted when he heard the name ‘Daisy Renton’.
- Gerald did meet Daisy Renton! In the Palace Bar, he 'rescued' her from Aldermand Meggarty and felt sorry for her. He kept her as his mistress for a few months but it eventually came to an end. He was also aware that Daisy Renton’s feelings towards him were stronger than his were towards her.
- Page 37: 'I want you to understand that I didn't install her there so that I could make love to her.'
- Page 38: 'I didn't feel about her as she felt about me'
- When he starts to talk about her death, he appears genuinely upset and goes out for a walk: ‘I’m rather more – upset – by this business than I probably appear to be – ‘. The audience assume that he has learned his lesson and that perhaps he will change for the better. After all, he had initially acted out of kindness, which suggests that he is not a completely bad character; however, he gave in to lust and cheated on Sheila, dropping Daisy Renton when it suited him so he is far from faultless.
- The Inspector isn’t as harsh on him as he is on Mr and Mrs Birling – he notes that at least Gerald ‘had some affection for her and made her happy for a time.’
- Page 71: 'Everything's all right now Sheila'
- When he returns, he has news: the Inspector was an impostor. He returns to the way he was before; the fact that he still did what he did does not make him change like Sheila and Eric.
- However, when offering Sheila the ring back, she can’t take it. ‘Everything’s all right now Sheila. (Holds up the ring.) What about this ring?’ She replies, ‘It’s too soon. I must think.’ She needs him to change his attitude and take responsibility for his actions. He forgets how poorly he treated Sheila and Daisy/Eva.
3/4: Priestley's Message (intended effect on audience)
Priestley's intended effect here as author is to to attack the upper-class in Britain. Despite perfect outward appearance—an 'attractive chap' and 'well-bred'—his point is that this class of people are still capable of the opposite behaviour.
4/4: Gerald's Character Development/changes
The change in Gerald's attitudes has to be permanent for real change in society to occur and this is what the Inspector attempts to instill into the characters.