• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Hobson's Choice' by Harold Brighouse struck me initially as a well constructed play with a plot that was skilfully unravelled for us by the characters that Brighouse introduced. Each character had a role

Extracts from this document...


Literature Unit By Zac Southwood Hobson's Choice 'Hobson's Choice' by Harold Brighouse struck me initially as a well constructed play with a plot that was skilfully unravelled for us by the characters that Brighouse introduced. Each character had a role to play in bringing the plot of the play to a conclusion. The pace of the comedy was maintained throughout and was therefore easy to follow and enjoyable. On closer inspection it is possible to identify the subtlety and craftsmanship of the playwright. In order to fully appreciate Brighouse's work it is necessary to understand the social and historical setting of the play and the audience for whom it was written at the time. In the introduction of the edition we used by Charles Wood we are given an insight to Brighouse. We learn that Brighouse was a literary leader and artistic writer who was very aware of the tradition he was working in. The play is set in the late Victorian era where opportunities for self-advancement due to the industrial revolution had altered societies perception of class and a substantial middle class had evolved. ...read more.


Closer inspection of the characters and the relationships between them will show how Brighouse prepares us for the ending. The relationship between Willie and the sisters starts out with Willie playing a dutiful and respectful cobbler employed by Hobson. He is portrayed as someone lacking ambition and self-confidence although a very good cobbler. Described as 'not naturally stupid but stunted mentally' and the 'raw material of a charming man'. Only Maggie recognises Willies potential 'everything I've seen, I've liked. I think you'll do for me.' Both Alice and Vicky fail to see Willies potential 'you're mistaken if you think I'll own Willie Mossop for my brother-in-law.' The sisters continue to underestimate Willie throughout the rest of the play and fail to adapt to the changing situation brought about by Willies growing self-confidence. Brighouse exploits the comedy of the sister's failure to grasp what is going on. 'Will Mossop hasn't the spirit of a louse.' Maggie's response 'Maybe Wills come on since you saw him, Vicky.' exploits the sisters ignorance and shares with the audience something they are 'in on' that the sisters just cannot see. ...read more.


Willie ascends from the cellar to eventually being his own master 'upstairs'. Further physical metaphors parody the action of the play. Henry Hobson's 'downfall' into Beenstocks cellar and his enforced 'come down' into Oldfield Road before Willie 'comes up' in the world to Chapel Street on his way to St Anne's Square, Manchester. Brighouse carefully manages the characters location to coincide with their fortunes as they develop through the play. Here we get a physical preparation for the final confrontation scene. To conclude Hobson's Choice is as appealing to a modern day audience as to its original audience. The theme of a working class hero making good and bettering himself with a strong driving female partner is still relevant to to-days audience. Although it would not nowadays be seen as challenging or shocking in the same way as it would to its original audience the traditional classical comedy themes remain contemporary. The skill with which Brighouse tells his story using stage devices and popular themes with strong characterisation will ensure that the play will remain popular, for although set in a historic setting the human element will have a timeless quality. . ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harold Brighouse section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harold Brighouse essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Hobson's choice - Maggie can be described as a "woman of specific qualities." ...

    4 star(s)

    They are not expressed by Maggie but by Will. All her hard work in teaching him and building their business has come through. She is now happy to sit back and allow Will to take control. Her wifely skills have been excellent as Willie is now more assertive.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Maggie's Role in Hobson's Choice

    3 star(s)

    This is shown when she gets Albert Prosser to buy his boots (I have mentioned in an earlier paragraph). Maggie is clever which is why she runs the business so successfully. Hobson talks about Maggie to his friends in "Moonrakers" like she isn't a person, but an object.

  1. Discuss the character of Willie Mossop in "Hobson's Choice". What advice would you give ...

    Willie in the play always spoke the truth. Maggie asks Willie to marry her. Willie is baffled and when Willie is amazed he says "by gum." Willie's attitude changes he doesn't want to marry Maggie and he tells her face-to-face. When the word is broken out, Hobson gets angry.

  2. How is the historical context of 'Hobson's Choice' reflected in the portrayal of male ...

    Maggie is much more than the efficient organizer of the fortunes of Mossop and Hobson. When she makes her bargain with Will Mossop, "I want your hand in mine and your word that you'll go through life with me for the best we can get out of it."

  1. Drama Coursework- The two stimuli's for my coursework were a play, Hobson's Choice by ...

    The character Maggie and Mr Hobson in Hobson's Choice are contrasting character; we could use this in our performance as the judge and the criminal are contrasts. The theme of duty is important in both texts. In Hobson's Choice one of the main characters, Maggie does her duty, as she

  2. How do you think the audience at the first London Performance of 'Hobson's Choice' ...

    We would assume that most of the audience would have been middle class at this time, so they would have been able to relate to the situation of the play and would be able to understand Hobson's reaction and the changes that take place in the characters personalities.

  1. Hobson's Choice Summary

    At this stage, Maggie does not seem to be thinking about starting up in business on her own, merely working in the shop as before but being paid for it. Willie seems to be a down-trodden, easily intimidated man. He has no doubt been bullied by Hobson for years.

  2. Demonstrate, in detail, how the writer uses language effectively to represent Maggies character and ...

    Maggie said, "he has too much time on his hands." (He meaning Albert.) This could show Maggie doesn't like idle people or Maggie is so active she thinks normal people are idle and she has become more of a full time worker than a shop owner's daughter.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work