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Hobson Analysis - Henry Horatio Hobson is one of the principal characters of the play and his conflict with his daughters, particularly Maggie, provides the basis of the story line.

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Hobson Analysis Henry Horatio Hobson is one of the principal characters of the play and his conflict with his daughters, particularly Maggie, provides the basis of the story line. Hobson is a 55-year-old middle-class tradesman who has quite a pompous and overbearing nature and the author, Harold Brighouse does very well to portray him in such a way that the reader instantly dislikes him. He is a 'single parent' since his wife's death and although in a different situation this could have been seen as quite heroic, instead he is shown to be quite the opposite, in the way that he constantly reminds his daughters that he considers them to be uppish, and that they have,"grown bumptious at a time when they lack a mother's hand." Hobson is definitely portrayed as his daughters oppressor in the way that he describes the way that Alice and Vickey dress (who are avid followers of fashion) as immodest. Hobson displays his apparent contempt for his eldest daughter Maggie, when after threatening to "wash his hands" of Alice and Vickey and choose them husbands who they can "exercise their gifts on" (referring to their "bumptious" behaviour), Maggie enquires whether she is to be found a husband and Hobson callously informs her that (at the age of 30), she is well past marring age and remarks when Maggie exclaims that she is only 30, "Aye, thirty and shelved", finishing, "You're a proper old maid Maggie if ever there was one ." Later on in the play however, when he finds himself being prosecuted for trespassing and damaging stock when he gets drunk at his favourite pub the Moonrakers, and falls into a corn cellar he finds himself being grateful (and at the mercy of) Maggie when she uses her negotiating skills to get him out of trouble (of course Hobson is unaware that Maggie masterminded his entire prosecution!). ...read more.


Jim immediately changes Hobson's mind when he tells him about the amount of money that two weddings will cost him, and having to replace them with paid workers if they left the shop. After Jim and Hobson leave to go to the Moonrakers (the local pub), Maggie calls Will up from the cellar below the shop where he works, and tells him that she thinks he is very gifted and that his skilled hands mean that he could leave Hobson's shop and work somewhere else - where he would be paid and appreciated more. She then casually asks him to marry her and he does not refuse, partly because he does not want to offend her and also because he is afraid of her. He tells her about his previous engagement to Ada Figgins who then enters the shop to bring Will his dinner. Maggie using her ability to overpower people, manages to win Will in a short war of words with Ada, who although is quite a weak, poor blooded girl, has a mother who is even more strong willed than Maggie, and who Will is even more afraid of. Because Will lodges with Ada and her mother so Maggie solved that problem easily, telling him to stay with Tubby Wadlow, another one of Hobson's workers. Maggie, feeling quite pleased with herself probably because she has proved her father wrong, tells her sisters about her intention to marry Will, quite casually. They are astonished and both think that Maggie will be marrying well beneath her. Hobson, who returns soon after this and agrees with Alison and Vickey, describes Will as a "workhouse brat, a come-by chance" and he calls Will to him so they he can beat the love for Maggie out of Will's puny body. However, Will showing a little bravery tells Hobson that the more he beats him the more he will stick to Maggie like glue and he kisses her, to which Maggie explains "I knew he had it in you!" ...read more.


Vedrenne that have been described as his "rich, random, unpremeditated first apprenticeship to playwriting". After marrying a fellow theatre lover, Harold on one of his weekly visits to London (despite now living in Manchester) on business continued his love of the theatre watching "the first performance of, as it happened, an outrageously bad play" and he came to the immediate realisation that he could probably write a play himself. His first play in accordance with the fashion of the time, was a five act romantic drama, which he sent to leading actor-manager, J. Forbes-Robertson. Although he rejected it, he gave Harold some invaluable advice, "try one-actor first - write of the life you know. Harold followed he advice and wrote his first one act play 'Lonesome -like', in 1909. Although it was not performed until two years later, it placed him firmly on the path to becoming a full time writer. Harold now still work full time for his employer as a salesman wrote plays in the evenings and weekends. He went on to write many plays including Dealing in Futures, The Game, The Northerners, Garside's Career and of course, Hobson's choice. Harold died in 1958 and although he wrote over 10 plays Hobson's Choice is best remembered. The play's title - Hobson's Choice is proverbial; to have Hobson's Choice is to have no choice at all. Its origin lies in the practice of the 17th century Cambridgeshire horse trader Hobson, whose customers in theory had a free choice but in practice always ended up with the horse nearest the stable door, which was Hobson's choice. List of Characters and Acts Characters Alice Hobson Maggie Hobson Vickey Hobson Albert Prosser Henry Horatio Hobson Mrs Hepworth Timothy Wadlow (Tubby) William Mossop Jim Heeler Ada Figgins Fred Beenstock Dr Macfarlane The scene of the play is in Salford, Lancashire, and the period is 1880. Act One: Interior of Hobson's Shop in Chapel Street Act Two: The same Act Three: Will Mossop's shop in Oldfield Road Act Four: Living-room of Hobson's shop ...read more.

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