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'Hobsons choice' 'chronicles a shift in the balance of power between the generations and the sexes' - show how this occurs in the course of the play.

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Introduction

'Hobsons choice' is set in the 1880`s. The stereotypical view of that period was that men had more power compared to women. Whether it was a father or a husband they had a more powerful status. The women were seen as the weaker sex and second class citizens this is portrayed by Jim, " a woman's foolishness begins where a mans leave's off." Women had a very homely image also. Children of this period were to be seen and not heard and faded into the background and were punished for speaking out. In 'Hobsons choice' the typical family power are carried out by Hobson and other minor roles such as Jim who says, "its steel in a mans character that subdues the women." This is a sexist comment as Jim thinks of himself as a man of the house and deals with a manly job as a greengrocer. Hobson is a fifty-five year old man who owns a boot shop in Salford. He has three daughters Maggie, Alice and Vickey. Hobson give his orders and Alice and Vickey obey him because they do not know how to win the argument with their father because they are not that well educated. Whereas Maggie is clever, mature and gives orders to Hobson. ...read more.

Middle

As Maggie is the oldest it seems only right for her to take this role. As she cooks, cleans and runs the shop. Even though the audience can see Maggie has taken the motherly role they notice she has a personality of her own and is not afraid to speak her mind. This is not like the typical women of the house in this period. Hobson tells Maggie, "if you want the brutal truth you're past the marrying age. You're a proper old maid, Maggie, if ever there was one." But almost immediately after he tells her this she disobeys her father by asking Will to marry her even though she knows he will not like it. As will works as a boot maker. Also we see from the stage directions "he is a lanky fellow, about thirty, not naturally stupid but stunted mentally by a brutalised childhood." Also "his clothes are an even poorer edition of Tubby's." Will is not the typical man who respectable women marry. When the typical couple got married in this period it was traditional for the man to propose to the women and also ask the father for his daughters hand in marriage. But Maggie doesn't do the traditional thing she does it her way. ...read more.

Conclusion

" I thought I'd press it in my bible for a keepsake," Now Maggie and Will were in love and equal amounts of love was given too each other they also had equal power. We can see this from Maggie describing the ring she says words like, "together", "truth" and "ourselves". Their relationship was not like the stereotypical power of this period at all. This shows the audience the full shift of power. Throughout this play the author Harold Brighouse wants us to learn that not every family or person has a stereotypical view of how people should be and that most people are different from others. In the play Harold gets this across to the audience by using colloquial language and using everyday situations to make the play appeal to a wider audience. Harold Brighouse is trying to say that every person is different from another and that everyone is unique. Also in the end his trying to get the point over that everyone is equal and we all have equal rights no matter what creed, colour , line of power or any other unique elements. His main intention is to educate people that there should not be a shift in power as everyone should be equal. He relates this to today's society as people need to work hard to get power not which gender they are. ...read more.

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