Gerald Croft is a very mixed mood character who reveals a lot of surprising information throughout the play. Mr and Mrs Birling treat Gerald as more of an equal. He is the son of Mr Birling’s business rival Sir George Croft. However Mr Birling does not treat Gerald as a rival as he wishes to ally with the Croft family and intertwine the businesses.
With Mrs Birling – she approves of Gerald, as she too is obsessed with social status.
Gerald and Mr. Birling are very similar. Gerald shares Mr Birling’s views on the way a business should be run. He agrees that ‘You couldn’t have done anything else’ in sacking Eva Smith. Mr Birling tries hard to impress him, as he is keen for Sheila to marry a man of Gerald’s social status, great for his business. Mr Birling is aware that Gerald’s mother ‘feels he might have done better for himself socially.’ He therefore drops hints about his possible knighthood as a way of impressing the Croft family.
Gerald’s true character is later revealed until the inspector questions him and stabs at his integrity. Furthermore, he is obstinate on being part of the family “I insist on being part of the family now. I’ve been trying long enough haven’t I. Haven’t I?” The repetition of the phrase shows a persistent and determined nature. This greatly shows his heightens his longing to be part of the family he so dearly looks up too and admires. Furthermore, this portrays his egotistical and superficial mind set. Gerald’s bond with Sheila becomes apparent in Act 1. Sheila loves Gerald and feels he’s a “Good catch. However, it is rather clear that Gerald shows no deep affection in return. Nevertheless Gerald still treats her like his one true love with an engagement ring and soft expressions of love towards Sheila. With Sheila he hasn’t been honest with her from the start. It is clear that she has always been suspicious of him: ‘I knew there was something fishy about that time.’ However, she respects him for being honest (‘I rather respect you more than I’ve ever done before.’) but knows that they have to ‘start all over again, getting to know each other –’ There is no trust in their relationship and Sheila realises this before it is too late.
Despite a warm relationship among the characters, he does not consider it serious as he tends to hang around nightclubs and bars, and as we later find out, other women to tend him while he isn’t in the care of Sheila.
At the start of the play, Gerald cannot see how he could be involved in Eva Smith’s suicide. ‘I don’t come into this suicide business.’ He tries to hide the truth from the Inspector, that he had been involved with Eva/Daisy from the start. Away from the inspector, Gerald states ‘we can keep it from him’ (revealing Gerald’s dishonest behaviour) but Sheila criticises this.
Gerald's lack of commitment and Infidelity is visible when he ineffectively attempts to disguise his connection with Eva, but his efforts make the exposure more disagreeable. 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." 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 equal as their relationship has been overrun with lies.
The Inspector isn’t as strict on Gerald 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.’ This is possibly something to do with apparent social status, or simply age and a more youthful appearance.