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Hobson's Choice - "Maggie Hobson and Willie Mossop are symbols of how determination and education can overcome disadvantage" Discuss

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Hobson's Choice - Essay "Maggie Hobson and Willie Mossop are symbols of how determination and education can overcome disadvantage" Discuss Maggie Hobson, a seemingly hardheaded and unsentimental woman and Willie Mossop, an uneducated boot maker are both ordinary people who come across difficulties throughout their lives. The aim of this essay therefore is to discuss how hard-work and sheer force of willpower changes these two people lives for the better. Maggie Hobson, daughter of Henry Horatio Hobson is thirty years old and different from most women of her age of those times as she is unmarried: "you're past the marrying age. You're a proper old maid, Maggie". This line shows Hobson reminding his daughter Maggie, that she is too old to get married. However, it can be seen that Hobson's refusal of Maggie getting married is not only due to the reason that she is "past the marrying age" but the reason being that Maggie is Hobson's most valuable daughter. Maggie's strength of character is firstly illustrated when she hassles Albert Prosser, a young lawyer, who comes to court Alice, into purchasing a pair of boots at Hobson's shop: "This is a shop, you know. We're not here to let people go out without buying". Maggie is shown here to be bossy and intimidating as she forces a man of a higher class than of hers to purchase boots from her father's shop. ...read more.


And now I'll tell you my terms". Maggie is shown to be extremely courageous here as she is prepared to argue with Hobson and even demands to him complying with certain terms. After Hobson finishes arguing with Maggie, he decides that he'll get revenge on her by giving physical punishment to her husband-to-be, Willie: "I feel bound to put you right. (Shows strap)". After Hobson's threatens to hit Willie, a totally different side to Willie's character is shown: "Maggie, I've none kissed you yet. I shirked before. But, by gum, I'll kiss you now ... and take you and hold you. And if Mr Hobson raises up the strap again, I'll do more". Willie is shown to be completely different here, from being a weak and 'stunted mentally' fellow, he is now portrayed like a strong and determined man. Act One is like an introduction to the play where the reader can see the different characteristics of the various characters; Maggie is a good business woman; determined and bossy yet she is thought of as an 'old-maid' by Hobson, Willie is 'stunned mentally' but shows that he has potential by the end of Act One. Act Two shows the beginning of the rise of Maggie and Willie. In the start of Act Two, the reader is reminded how determined and bossy Maggie really is: "Then, will you go fetch him, Mr Beenstock? ...read more.


she come to Will... takes him by the ear, and returns with him to the bedroom" Another example of her assertiveness is when Maggie is shown here as she comes out of the bedroom especially to collect Willie as he is not courageous enough to go in by himself. At the end of Act three, Maggie is seen at her managing best and the beginning of Willie's introduction to book learning is shown: "Your writing's improving, Will. I'll set you a short copy for tonight". At this stage, it can be seen that Willie's education has improved again and is now being taught how to write by Maggie. Act four takes place a year later and is a close to the play. In this, it can be seen how much Maggie and Willie have risen since the beginning of the play and subsequently the downfall of Hobson. The action of the play demonstrates that determination and education are the key factors, which help to overcome disadvantage. By the end of the play, the reader can see that Maggie and Willie have become extremely successful, as Willie takes over Hobson's shop, which in turn means that Hobson does not have any authority over Maggie and Willie. Therefore instead of Hobson being the master, Willie Mossop is, thus the roles are reversed. It can also be seen that Willie Mossop is a changed man by the end of the play; confident and able to stand-up to his father-in-law, Hobson. ...read more.

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