The Development of William Mossop's Character in Hobson's Choice
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The Development of William Mossop’s Character in Hobson’s Choice
William Mossop started off as a lodger lodging with Ada Figgins. He was shy and had no ambitions working at Hobson’s shoe shop at the bottom of the chain. At the end of the play he was ambitious, married and the joint owner of Hobsons shop.
The audience sympathises with Willie the first time he appears on stage because he ‘only comes half way up the trap door’. This is because of his social standing and he feels that he is not worthy to speak to Hobson and the ‘upper class people’. As the play progresses
Willie acquires a greater sense of confidence. This is shown when
Willie begins to speak more and is further educated and more self-assured. Willie also gets…show more content…
Furthermore, in the middle of the play Hobson accepts Willie and
Maggie’s marriage. He exclaimed accepts the fact that Maggie and
Willie are married but then goes on to say, ‘Maggie, you’ve had your way and done what you wanted, I’m none the prouder of your choice and
I wont lie and pretend I am’. To this point it seems that Hobson is not content and has no intentions of speaking to them again. However, proceeds to say, ‘but I’ve shaken your husbands hand and that’s a sign for you, the milks split and ill not cry’. Willie has now returned to his initial opinion and it seems he has approved of the wedding even though he doesn’t endorse the idea.
Later on in the play Hobson has a word with Willie with and pronounces
‘you’re the best of the bunch, a backward lad but you no your trade and it’s an honest one. This gives Willie additional confidence.
Willie visits the local pub, ‘The Moonrakers’ on a daily basis with his friends even though the doctor has told him that he has ‘drunk himself within six months of an early grave’. The doctors’ advice to
Hobson is to ‘stay out of the pub and to get a woman back into the house and to take the doctors prescription’. Hobson replies by saying
‘I’m particular to what I put into my stomach’ and ‘you ask me to give up my reasonable refreshment’.
After the doctor has spoken to Hobson about getting Maggie back she walks in. She came because Tubby told her that Hobson is ‘seriously ill’. The doctor notifies
Maggie And Hobson In Hobson's Choice
Maggie and Hobson in Hobson's Choice
The play "Hobson's Choice" is an invigorating character comedy set in
Salford, a town near Manchester. It is also a biting commentary on the
Victorian values that overhung into the early twentieth century, when
it was written. It pits Henry Horatio Hobson, an alcoholic old shop
owner, against his forceful daughter Maggie, who is determined to
break out of the dull boot shop and the life of genteel spinsterhood
that awaits her.
"Hobson's Choice" looks at the Victorian class and gender stereotypes,
and then blows them to pieces. Hobson himself has clear ideas about
the place of women, which he frequently expresses. His view is that "a
wife is a handy thing", yet that men who marry are "putting chains
upon themselves". This shows him to be a sexist hypocrite, but perhaps
he is a product of his time? His views on class are equally
pronounced, since he declares Willie unfit for Maggie to marry because
"his father was a workhouse brat", and similarly treats Mrs Hepworth
with great respect, though she -being in the class well above Hobson-
treats him with disdain. This shows that to some extent at least,
Hobson is merely reflecting the attitudes of his society.
Another theme relating to class is Alice and Vickey's marriages, and
their subsequent snobbery, about being in business not trade, and
their refusal to help Hobson when he needed it most. The location of
the play is also vital for its context- Salford, in Lancashire. The
play is entirely focussed on Salford, with Manchester being the only
reference to the outside world. Hobson is terrified of having his name
in the "Manchester Guardian" - because the whole of his world would
know that he had appeared in court. The industrial nature of Salford
is also important, both in the social conventions that arose, and in
the solid sensible nature of the inhabitants. Another Victorian oddity
is the Temperance Society, in particular Hobson's wish that Alice and
Vickey marry "temperance men" despite the fact that he was firmly
attached to his drink. So this is the social context in which
"Hobson's Choice" is set.
Hobson understands his place in this social context, and we hear him
extolling the virtues of "being British middle class and proud of it",
and "the unparalleled virtues of the British Constitution". He also
exploits his social position, using his appointment as a Churchwarden
to gather "high class trade". From this we can infer that Hobson was
once a successful self-made shop owner, with business sense,
dedication and skill, and a wife. From what Brighouse chooses to tell
us, he went into a decline when his wife died, which led him to seek
solace in the "Moonraker's". His wife must have kept house for him,
offered sensible advice, which Hobson would have paid attention to,
and been a...
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