• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is the historical context of 'Hobson's Choice' reflected in the portrayal of male and female characters in the play?

Extracts from this document...


Hobson's Choice - Post 1914 Drama English literature course work How is the historical context of 'Hobson's Choice' reflected in the portrayal of male and female characters in the play? The play 'Hobson's Choice' was written in 1916 but set in 1870 in Salford. In the 1870's a woman's property was in law of her husband's property and 'she' had no vote. The play's events are set in Victorian times, but its ideas and attitudes were in a generation later when it was written and performed. The themes were base on the rights of women and also a link between rebellion of the younger generation. The moral of the story is shown as a conceited and self-centred old man when he is deflated, while a victim of his despotism, 'a backward lad', grows to his full potentialities, marries the boss's daughter and takes over the business. This shows quite a reckless image showing that the play chronicles a shift in balance of power between the generations and sexes. This just showed that hierarchy in the Victorian times was not obeyed by this family as Maggie and William tries working their way up. ...read more.


Through out the play we see the similarities of Maggie and Hobson who like daughter like father are both very self-opinionated which not a very usual thing for a female was in the Victorian period. Although she is quite independent and bossy; "Come up, and put the trap down; I want to talk to you." This shows Maggie ordering William around, a very unrealistic thing for a woman to do in the Victorian era. Maggie is 30 years old, considered to be 'on the shelf' by her father, Hobson. Later does he realise he is proven quite wrong. Maggie's relationship with Hobson is different from Vickey and Alice because in that day and age, women weren't allowed to be the head of the house, have a say in anything. Maggie isn't like that; she's independent and doesn't take orders from anyone. Vickey and Alice are both very similar in their characters. Both daughters of Hobson are very pretty. Vickey the younger of the two is aged 21 tries getting her way quite indirectly; "Hobson: "There's been a gradual increase in uppishness towards me." Vickey: "Father, you'd have more time to talk after we've closed tonight. ...read more.


Jim Heeler is Hobson's bosom friend and confidant. He discusses 'settlements' with Hobson and tries to express his opinion, Hobson doesn't criticise him as he would criticise his daughter due to sex and generation. Timothy Wadlow, (Tubby) is used later to show the deterioration in Hobson's business. At his working class level, he is one of the lowest class members of the caste even though he is 'male'. Albert Prosser and Fred Beenstock are Alice and Vickey's suitors and, through careful plotting, are also a lawyer and trade respectively working on the professional side, each of whom have a part to play in Maggie's plotting against her father. Brighhouse uses his characters to show the portrayal of male and female characters in the play, by showing an amusing comedy of women dominating men, which seemed quite barbaric in Victorian times. I don't think this play would be successful as it was then, due to the fact of it being general life, seeming to be nothing new for us. As we have 'equal rights' and the generation today has more freedom. I do believe that the play would have been successful overall, as I think people would be interested and amused by people's opinions in the Victorian era. As it contains a fair amount of stereo types, conflict and comedy, Sonia Kumar 10JD Ms Vicars-Miles ...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)

    Ada Figgins to her is of no actual threat. She makes remarks about Ada without knowing her. Her best interests are for Willie, or this is what we learn from her speech. She asks Ada of the future, and if Willie is goin to do well. Maggie is persistent and narrow minded.

  2. Hobson's Choice

    This is shown in his speech even though he stutters a little and Maggie has to prompt him. Albert then goes to make a speech, but Alice stops him and tells him to sit down. "Sit down. We've had enough of speeches-" Albert then insists that they have to thank him.

  1. Hobson's Choice Summary

    Maggie has always been confident and in this scene is even more sure of herself. Her language is the language of command. When Alice tries to tell her that she doesn't know what she is aiming at, Maggie replies swiftly, 'The difference between us is that I do.

  2. Hobson's Choice

    And that she went missing last night?" "That's right." "It' just, I thought I saw her earlier today..." I spoke, bemused at the very idea. Chapter 5 - Leanne I placed a cup of tea in front of her, before pulling up a chair at the head of their dining room table, next to Sandra.

  1. hobson's choiceStudying the Victorian period from Hobson's choice, I rewrote a section of the ...

    His self-confidence is very low. His clothes are even worse than Rajs'. He comes and stands in front of the door. Mama H: Are you Fernandez? Suraj: Yes mama. Mama H: Did you make this cloth? Suraj: (taking a quick glance at it from the tip of his eye)

  2. Hobson's choice

    In act two, he uses phrases such as "My mind's made up." "I've got wrought to a point. I'm ready." In act three his language has clearly improved, we see this where he makes a speech in the cellar. However he has not yet fully developed it, Willie: "that the - the-" Maggie: (in an undertone)

  1. Discuss the characters of Maggie and Hobson in their dramatic context. Comment on how ...

    Brighouse inserted this part about one man beating another to highlight the clear divisions in status and how it was perceived to be acceptable to do this in the Victorian times. "There's nobbut one to answer to that kind of talk, my lad (He strikes with belt)

  2. Hobson's choice - Explore the play from the perspective of Willie Mossop's development.

    It was particularly unusual in that period to marry without the consent and approval of one's parents. Here however Maggie exercises her views and would like to marry Willie Mossop ignoring all the social customs concerning class distinctions and dating.

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