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Hobson's Choice - Why are the characters of Maggie and Will so popular to a modern audience?

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Sian Dudley 09/02/03 Why are the characters of Maggie and will So popular to a modern audience? Maggie and Will are two of the main characters in "Hobson's Choice". Maggie works in her fathers shop for very little pay at all, as does Will, who is a shoemaker for Hobson and is very good at his job. Maggie married Will (being very dominant for a woman in those days) and they left Hobson's shop to start up a shoe business of their own because of the way Hobson exploits them. Will and Maggie eventually fall in love and Maggie manages to get her father to pay for her two sisters weddings and because of Hobson's drinking problem they decide to join business with Hobson so that Will can manage the shop and Maggie can manage Hobson. The play is set in the Victorian times (1880s). Maggie throughout the play has used her intellect and reasoned thinking to get ahead. This makes Maggie not only popular, but also, amusing as she is persistent which reflects on the play. In act one of the play she almost forces Albert to buy boots that he really doesn't want to buy "This is a shop you know. ...read more.


My brain and your hands 'ull make a working partnership." Maggie has the whole business planned out carefully and precisely. Maggie not only had to take on the role of the mother to her sisters and her father because of her mother's death but also as an intelligent business woman, which was uncommon for a woman in the 1880s. This shows that she is not only a good hard worker but a good role model for her sisters. For example, when she questions her father about the amount of pay he gives her and her sisters "How much a week do you give us?" Her sisters are too afraid to answer back to their father but Maggie is not. In Maggie and Will's relationship Maggie acts as the dominant partner in the beginning not because she wants power over everything but because she sees that Will is not ready to be the master of the house like he is supposed to be. When she has persuaded Will to go along with the marriage she tells him what to do "...you will have three weeks to get used to it. ...read more.


This shows how she has mercy and kindness for people and is not wanting Hobson to go down the drain, just pay for her sisters weddings, which is still holding on to her mother role. Although the audience like Maggie for the comic things she does they also like her and Will's actions and interactions. Such as on Maggie and Will's wedding night. Will's nerves are most humorous and gives a lot away about both of their characters "he looks shyly at the bedroom door, sits and takes off his boots. He rises moves towards the door, hesitates, and turns back, lies down on the sofa with occasional glances at the bedroom door. At first he faces the fire. He is uncomfortable. He turns over and faces the door. In a minute Maggie opens the door. She is holding a candle and is in a plain calico night-dress she comes to Will, shines the light on him, takes him my the ear and returns to the bedroom." Will is popular because of some of the things he says for example is over use of the phrase "by gum!" when he is surprised makes us still remember what he was like in the beginning. Maggie and Will both appeal to a modern audience because of their kindness, optimism, humour and respect which brings the play together. ...read more.

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