"Hobson's Choice" by Harold Brighouse, a summary.

Authors Avatar

During the previous English lessons we have been reading the play of “Hobson’s Choice” by Harold Brighouse furthermore have watched the original film. A theatre critic Nightingale said “the play chronicles a shift between the generation and the sexes” but I believe that he should have added another one “class”.

Brief summary of play

This play is set in Victorian Salford in Manchester. A man called Henry Horatio Hobson who owns a shoe shop. He has 3 daughters who he wants married off (Alice, Vicky and Maggie) with the exception of the eldest Maggie who is 30 years old because he thinks she is too old to get married and she does all the house work and minds the shop while he goes to the Moonrakers and gets drunk. Maggie decides to propose to Willie to get wed Hobson does not like it at all so they walk out to open a rival shoe store with the help of a rich women called Mrs.Hepworth.


The issue of class is illustrated well throughout the play. Firstly when Hobson makes a fool of himself when Mrs.Hepworth, a very important high class wealthy lady enters the shop to praise Wille for his work on her boats. It is irregular for a high class person to do this to a lower class worker. Tubby Wadlow a worker tells her that Willie has made the pair of shoes than Hobson rudely comes in to the conversation get the wrong impression about what she is saying and begins to talk that he will punish him with the fault that he has made but she is really praising Wille. She says to shut Hobson up “Hold you’re tongue” which means shut up. When Mrs. Hepworth leaves the shop Hobson is back to his ignorant self and begins to call Mrs.Hepworth because she came in to his shop and started to praise his workers. Every body knows that Hobson is being his ill-mannered self.

Join now!

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 ...

This is a preview of the whole essay