• 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)

    It can't bother her because she marries Willie without a second thought. Maggie's approach to women is that she thinks they should have there own life and not be controlled by their fathers or partners. Maggie stands up to the men and wont let them tell her what to do,

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

    When the word is broken out, Hobson gets angry. Willie stands up for himself when getting whipped. Willie kisses Maggie to get Hobson angry and then runs out of the door with Maggie. Maggie praises Willie by telling him, "I knew you had it in you, lad." A month later, Maggie and Willie go back to Hobson's shop.

  2. 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.

  1. 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."

  2. Hobson Analysis - Henry Horatio Hobson is one of the principal characters of the ...

    if we get too rich and proud, we'll just sit down together quite and take a long look at it, so as we'll not forget the truth about ourselves..." Will expresses his feelings of amazement, triumph and incredulity with a simple, "Well, by gum!"

  1. By a close analysis of the language used, how the author reveals the Character ...

    Here, Maggie uses her dominance over Ada and gets her to leave the shop to settle the argument. Ada replies to this by saying "you mean I'm to go like this?" This suggests that she is shocked about what Maggie has implied to her and is totally astounded by it.

  2. Exploring the play from the perspective of Willie Mossop’s Development.

    himself to reach his position because he has been served it all on a plate. Brighouse has introduced this character in order to shows us the differences amongst the social classes where some people must work hard to succeed and others have it the easy way.

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