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`Hobson's Choice` by Harold Brighouse. Why are the characters of Maggie and Will popular with a modern audience?

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Ryan Balchin January 2003 `Hobson's Choice` by Harold Brighouse Why are the characters of Maggie and Will popular with a modern audience? `Hobson's Choice` written in 1914 but set further back in the 1880's, is a comedy, based around the battle of wills between Hobson, a hard-headed and domineering cobble and his daughter Maggie, who defies him by marrying his most talented worker, Will. She helps Will to develop his potential and together try to turn the tables on Hobson himself as it is not expected for Maggie and Will to do so. Maggie is an independent and strong woman, who wants to escape form her greedy father to make a new start in life. At the beginning of the play Hobson believes that Maggie is too old to marry and he wants to keep her in the business, as she is good at her job "Maggie's to useful too part with, And she's abit on the ripe side for Marrying is our Maggie" She decides to prove her father wrong. In the 1880's it is normal for a women to have an arranged marriage done by their fathers and would marry into a high class family so they can have ...read more.


She controls the accounts and organises everything at Hobson's. She taught Will to read and write, because Will was born into the lower class she was not properly educate and so he was illiterate but Maggie changed that by educating him herself: "I'll just set you a short copy, for tonight." Maggie is honest and fair, when Albert and Freddy are trying to get more money than they agreed out of Mr Hobson, she knows he cannot afford what they are asking and so she gets them down to a more realistic price: 'I know perfectly well what father can afford to pay, and it is not a thousand pounds nor anything like a thousand pounds.' Maggie is also humble because she is not afraid to ask for help when she needs it. She asks Mrs Hepworth for money as her and will haven't got any from their previous jobs because Hobson didn't pay Maggie and Will came from a lower class and had little pay, all to get married and start up a good business "We've paid back Mrs Hepworth what she lent us for our start and made a bit o' brass on top o' that." ...read more.


because he did not love her, but they get their partnership up and running and as the story continues he realises that he can learn to love and give Maggie the respect she needs to create a successful business. From the start to the end of the play Will Mossop changes a lot. He went from working in Hobson's cellar to owning his own successful business and being married to Maggie. His main change was that he went from poverty to being a member of the working/middle class. By doing this he has made his way up the social ladder, which was very hard to do in the 19th century. Wills struggle could be compared to a dream going from rags to riches. In my opinion this would be the most important factor about Will that would appeal to a modern audience. Maggie's determination to make a success of hers and Willie's marriage and the business that they start would make her popular with a modern audience because she did not really love Will when they were married, but she had to do something to get away from Mr Hobson, her authoritarian father and she also managed to get her sisters married. ...read more.

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