When Hobson beats up Willie for getting engaged to his daughter Maggie he decides to beat him up with his leather belt. When he is about to do this he ducks and misses and for the first time Willie stands up for him self and threatens Hobson if he hits him he will walk out of the shoe shop and find work else where. In the majority of the other scenes the audience laughs in these kinds of scenes, however the audience realise this is serious because they will go silent and not laugh. I have selected this scene for the reason that Hobson is middle class and Willie is working class so he ought to have “a high opinion” for Hobson and not speak against whatever he says but Willie stands up for him self.
Class is also shown when Vicky asks Hobson what do you think of Willie entering the family he say’s” You can’t have Will Moossop. Why lass his father was a work house brat”. Therefore he is trying to say people will laugh at him because Willie Moossop a poor a “workhouse brats” son has married in to a middle class family.
The issue of gender is illustrated in the following scenes. Act1 we meet Maggie who acts like a modern woman instead of the typical Victorian staying home, looking after the children and obeying the man of the house being the father/ husband. The author (Harold Brighouse) has done this by using a range of drama techniques e.g. comedy to represent this. In Act1 Albert Prosser a solicitor enters her fathers shoe shop surpassingly comes in to buy something but really he comes to set a date with Hobson’s daughter Alice. You will expect this character to confident and will not be bossed about from anyone but he is the complete reverse. Her father Hobson has not gone out yet so she says to him “Good morning Mr. Prosser” and leans on the counter and says furthermore “Father’s not gone out yet he’s a bit late”. Then he heads straight to the door were Maggie stops him and ask him why he came he mutters to her “Well I can’t say that I came into buy something”. Then she pushes Albert Prosser against hi will to a seat while she does this he say’s “Well I’ll just have a pair of boot laces” and makes him buy shoes which he does not need and at the same time tells him he will have his old shoes mended instead of buying the laces which he wanted. This is the breaking point of a Victorian woman because they would have been so influential.
A further example a gender is shown when is when Maggie is left alone in the shop because at that time it was not the woman approached the man it was the other way round man approaching women especially if the man is from a lower class. When she calls Willie up he comes up and only opens half of the trap door and putting his face down and say’s “Yes Miss Maggie” she starts to flirt with him. He does not understand the point what she is trying to say because he is dim-witted. Is point is very comical because in this scene he uses irony and comical how he says it. This is a different approach which Maggie is taking because people had to court with the person before they got married. At this point at Willie says to Maggie “I’m tokend to Ada Figgins” which means he is already engaged.
The issue of generations is illustrated in this play in Act 1 Hobson tells off Vicky and Alice for wearing the latest fashion which was bustles on their bum of their dress which was the latest fashion in those days. Hobson is irritated because they are wearing them. Hobson said to them “The hump was wagging, and you put your feet on pavement as if you’d got chilblains – aye, stiff neck above and weak knees below Alice replied “ It’s not immodest, father. It’s fashion. This shows fashion because the older generation is all ways complaining what the younger generation is wearing.
Another example of generation is when Hobson is telling Alice and Vicky off for answering him back when he is about to swear Maggie interrupts and says” Don’t swear father” by interrupting him. I think this is really modern because women in Victorian were scared of men instead of knower days 2002 they will answer the man back because they a not scared.
I think this story overall is a comedy one but has serious parts in it e.g. when Hobson wants to. So I think the theatre critic Nightingale said “the play chronicles a shift between the generation and the sexes”