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Analyse the dramatic techniques that Brighouse uses to explore the theme of image in "Hobson's Choice"

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Introduction

Analyse the dramatic techniques that Brighouse uses to explore the theme of image in "Hobson's Choice" Hobson's choice was written in 1914-15 by Harold Brighouse, as a method to raise the morale of troops during the First World War. Many aspects of Brighouses' unconventional childhood shows through in a lot of characters - Maggie in particular - as he explores many issues that would have occurred in the heart of nineteenth century Salford. He examines many real life crisis' in this comedy play and he spectacularly shows how bigger deal image and reputation was to people at the time when the play was set. Henry Horatio Hobson was an immensely patriotic, middle class working man, who lived in Salford, Manchester, during the early 1800's. He had an extremely definite idea on he believed the perfect family should entail, and he worked very hard to make sure that his three daughters - Maggie, 30; Alice, 23; Vickey, 21 - were raised into a respectable family. ...read more.

Middle

Hobson was very concerned that his daughters wearing unacceptable clothes, would give people the wrong image, and would scare away customers. Fellow businessmen have very little respect for Hobson, who very rarely did even half a days honest work, and yet he was their biggest business threat, stealing all the high class customers, with exceptionally made boots. Mrs Hepworth is particular, was a well-respected high class woman, who many shops fought to have her step through their doors. For Hobson however, she was a regular customer, who he treated like a Queen. Mrs Hepworth, was not served in the shop like other middle class customers. She was shown through to Hobson's own living room, where stage directions prove how differently higher-class citizens were treated. Stage directions quote: "Hobson kneeling and fondling her foot". This stagecraft shows us that he gives a lot more care to his higher-class customers. This was deemed socially acceptable during the 1800's, as Mrs Hepworth was very much above Hobson on the social ladder. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the play, Hobson's character becomes weaker and weaker, and he begins to care less about his image. Maggie however has broken all conventions of the time by marrying Will, who, in return, has been taught by Maggie and has increased self-esteem and courage. At the end of the play, image became very important to Will, when choosing shop names. He wanted to make sure that he was in charge and in control of the decision. "Mossop and Hobson or its Oldfield Road for us Maggie" he says. This shows us that men were very much above their wives, and they made all the decisions in the household. Overall I believe that image and reputation were considered a lot more important in the 1800's than what they are today. Things were very particular in those days, and I for one, are very glad that image has become less of an issue in every day life. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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