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Harold Brighouse, the author of Hobson's Choice was born in 1882 in Eccles, near Salford Lancashire; where the play is set.

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Introduction

Written Assignment Harold Brighouse, the author of Hobson's Choice was born in 1882 in Eccles, near Salford Lancashire; where the play is set. Hobson's Choice was first written in 1914-1915. This is when it was originally supposed to be set. The out-break of war in 1914 meant that Brighouse had to change the time setting of the play. He changed it to 1880, which he later considered added to the play's depth. As Hobson's Choice is a comedy, showing it in 1916, created a lighter, relaxed atmosphere in the theatre world. People could go to the theatre and laugh. Hobson's Choice was an escapism from the battling society. One of the strongest characters in the play is Maggie. For the time it was set, a strong, female protagonist was quite unusual. This represents the changing role of women, which adds to the comedy and also defies expectations. Harold Brighouse included this strong female because his mother was also very strong minded. Before her marriage, his mother had been a headmistress. His parent's marriage in 1881 broke the conventions of the time, for John Brighouse had previously been married to his second wife's sister; as a result, until the law was later changed, Harold and his sister Hilda were technically illegitimate. ...read more.

Middle

Her intentions are not there to be disturbed and doing what she wants adds to Maggie's improbable character. This treatment of Willie and the language that they both use creates comedy. Maggie refers to Willie as a 'business idea in the shape of a man.' Willie, himself also believes that he is an object that can't defend itself rather than an able man e.g. WILLIE 'She'll have me from you if you don't be careful'. This weak attitude from Willie increases the comical severity of Maggie's marriage proposal. The arrogance of Hobson is shown in many ways throughout the play such as the way Hobson degrades his loyal customer Mrs. Hepworth immediately after he had been complimenting and respecting her. However occasionally when he comes off arrogant he is really making a fool of himself e.g. HOBSON 'I'll have less uppishness from you or else I'll shove you off my hands on to some other men. You can choose which way you like MAGGIE One o'clock dinner, father.' This shows that after Hobson continues to rant and rave about qualities that only he finds appalling, Maggie is clearly not listening and is not particularly interested. Evidently he is really a fool for trying so hard to educate his daughters on irrelevant subjects. ...read more.

Conclusion

He still believes he always has been and always will be right, even though he has dug himself into the position that he is dying and needs the help from the people that he originally turned away. One of the main features of comedy is that he still thinks that everybody respects him, when of course they don't. In Act 4 we finally see the situation that we, the audience have been waiting and hoping for. The tables have completely changed between Willie and Hobson e.g. WILLIE 'I'll make some alterations in this shop, and all. I will so. HOBSON Alterations in my shop! WILLIE In mine.' Willie now treats Hobson almost like the way the Hobson used to treat Willie. The downfall of Hobson and the rise of Willie is what the play's humour is based upon, so this scene should really be the most comical. But is it? Yes we are glad to see the weak, unsuccessful boy succeed but are we pleased to see the downfall of Hobson? I think that is a personal opinion. We should really feel sorry for Hobson, after all he has lost his shop, his wife, his daughters and he is then told that he has to give up the one thing he loves to prevent him from dying. However we could argue that he has brought the majority of this on himself and that he really deserves all he gets. Laura Kay ...read more.

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