HOBSON choice

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Themes -   

·         Choice -“Hobson choice” the title suggests that Hobson was actually left with no choice. Willie didn’t really have a choice in marrying Maggie

·         Improvement and change – at the start of the play Willie was a “natural fool at all else” other than making boots. But Maggie as a strong women brought him up and changed him to be “prosperous and has self-confidence”. he now owns his own shop

·         Love- Maggie is told by her father that she is “past the marrying age, you’re a proper old maid”. Also the relationship between Maggie and Willie is interesting as he doesn’t want to marry her at the start and she is very forceful about it. Hobson sees marriage as slavery. Maggie compares it to “fancy buckle” “all glitter and no use to nobody”, Alice and Vicky see it as becoming more of a lady. – metaphor of “all that glister is not gold”

·         Equality - Hobson has no care in his daughters and discourages what they wear and act. Also he gets angry when Willie is praised as he is of lower class. Also the fact that Willie says “and you the masters daughter” shows that he doesn’t understand why Maggie wants to marry him; he thinks class is too important for that.

·         Parenting – Hobson is very controlling of his daughters and wants them to do what he says. But he a cruel parent and doesn’t understand or look after them as we see that he always get drunk and when they eventually do leave he only then realises how much they actually do for him.

·         Alcoholism – Hobson's downfall comes from him drinking too much. When he is drunk he lands up paying the settlement for his daughters.  


·          At the start Willie was “not naturally stupid but stunted mentally” he had the talent of making boots and that’s how it stayed. He had little education and confidence.

·          He thought the world was against him “take that” we see that he winces because he thought Mrs Hepworth was going to smack him instead it was positive. He starts as a shy and timid character but as the play goes on he grows as a character.

·         Maggie teaches Willie to read and write and he grows into a better person because of it.

·         As his business becomes successful he becomes more confident and he tells his sister in laws what to do “I’ll do the arranging, Alice, if we come here, we come here on my terms” before she was his boss but now Willie is more powerful. He is more confident, we see this when he talks to Hobson saying “you’ve got no trade and me and Maggie got it all and now you’re on your bended knees to her to come and live with you”


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