An Inspector Calls

by: J. B. Priestley

Act One, continued

Gerald’s character similar to Sheila’s, and a contrast to Arthur’s and Sybil’s. Gerald seems sheepish during the questioning. He offers no reply to the Inspector, and none to Arthur. When Sheila realizes she is guilty of her immoral behavior and of ruining Eva/Daisy’s job at the store, Gerald neither stands up to support his fiancee, nor denounces her. This is perhaps because Gerald recognizes that he has had an affair with that same Eva/Daisy, a fact that Sheila will soon figure out. Gerald’s passivity is a counterpoint to Arthur’s and Sybil’s resistance to the Inspector’s authority. Whereas they wonder what he is doing there, and openly call his questioning “rude,” Gerald does not resist the interrogation, nor does he offer up any information voluntarily. He seems to recognize that, in the Birlings’ living room, he is trapped until the Inspector tells him he can leave.