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After Hobson enters the house Maggie commands him not to be late for dinner. Hobson doesn’t like Maggie trying to order him about because she is female, but Maggie doesn’t back down. Maggie and Hobson have a battle for dominance because neither one will take orders from the other this shows how strong and stubborn Maggie and her father can be, they have a very similar character but Hobson is sometimes a bit of a snob unlike Maggie.
Later on Maggie asks here father how much a week does he give her. Her father answers, “That’s neither here nor there.” This means it doesn’t really matter you still get money, but really they get very little except when they get new cloths every year which Hobson pays ten pounds for each of them which is a lot of money, food and a shelter over their head. Maggie took control of this situation making sure her father would think that he doesn’t give them any money which is very wise but also very cunning.
Later on in the passage Hobson decides to try and find a wife for Alice and Vicky, but completely excludes Maggie. Even though Maggie is very strong willed and minded this is still very hurtful because she is getting excluded by her own father, this shows how horrible Hobson can be. Even though Maggie is assertive and asks were she comes into this. Hobson is astonished by this and laughs at her, thinking Maggie will never get married. Hobson tells Maggie the “brutal truth” saying she is a proper old maid, this is saying she is too old to marry.
After Mrs. Hepworth enters the shop, she asks who made these boots. Hobson is made a fool when he can’t give Mrs. Hepworth a direct answer, but Maggie gives her a direct answer as recognised by Mrs. Hepworth. This shows how Maggie works in logic Mr. Hobson doesn’t want to say who because he is proud of how he makes the boots on the premises buy he doesn’t make them. Maggie realises how much of a “Treasure” Willie is, this is the turning point of the play were Maggie thinks of her plan to make a business and move away from her father. Hobson said that Maggie is useful to part with, he recognises her qualities as a business woman but he doesn’t treat her with that respect. This shows Maggie is very useful if Hobson can say this because his is a greedy man only looking to make as much money as possible.
Maggie tells Willie, “You’re a natural born Genius at making boots.” Maggie is telling him about how talented he is which shows her nice side but in the same sentence she said “You’re a natural fool at all else.” Maggie can be nice to him and insult him with no thinking, she doesn’t even notice that she insulted him. This may be because she speaks her mind and she just thought it was true. Willies life is ruled by fear because he won’t move to a better shoe shop because he fears the fine places, Maggie wants to help him to give him the confidence to be able to go into a better shop, and she is the liberator that wants to help all including her.
Willie tells Maggie that she is a wonder in the shop, this may be because Maggie complimented him earlier or he was telling the truth and thinking on the same wavelength as Maggie for a second. As Willie dives to the trap Maggie stops him, this could be symbolic that Maggie is getting him out of Hobson’s trap but he is now trapped with Maggie, this is worse because Maggie is a lot cleverer than Hobson and also a lot more demanding.
Maggie steps out of the stereotype of women when she asks Willie to marry her. This shows how Maggie is a woman out of her time she is too demanding and can’t wait until someone else does it so she has to do it, this shows she is very brave and can do things without thinking of the consequences. Maggie knows this is her last chance to get out because life is so scarce she needs this chance. Willie is worried about what Hobson will say, he is too frightened to hurt someone. This also shows how again he is living in fear, Maggie has brought back the fear because she has put him in an strange situation. Maggie tells him “When I make arrangements, my lad, they’re not made for upsetting.” This is telling him I wont take no for an answer you are marrying me I have made plans for the future with you and I am going to make them true whatever the cost.
This shows hoe determined Maggie can be and also how vicious she can be because she if forcing him to harry her even though he is very reluctant about marrying someone. Later when Ada is mentioned Maggie calls her the sandy haired girl, this could be because sand is easy to find saying she is one of thousands not an individual like Maggie, but straight away Willie said “Golden haired is Ada.” Gold is a lot less common than sand which makes her to look like an individual and not someone who follows everyone else’s tastes.
These two comparisons show how they both see this woman Willie sees her in the eyes of a lover but Maggie sees her in the eyes of someone who is maybe jealous at his moment. Maggie later says “I’ve seen her and I know the breed.” The one word that stands out in the sentence is breed, Maggie is comparing Ada to an animal which has with no feelings, this is very cruel and aggressive, this is Maggie’s aggressive side which is very really seen in the play but when it is seen it is not meant to be liked.
Maggie said to Willie “it’s a desperate woman that’ll look for protection to the likes of you.” This is insulting both Ada and Willie which Maggie found quite easy to do. Maggie is being very cruel to Ada which many people who are watching the play with think is wrong thinking Maggie is a bully like her father. The sympathy for Maggie is shifted to Ada because of Maggie abusive attitude towards her, Maggie doesn’t even treat her like a normal human being. Maggie later says “she’s born to meekness.” This is continuing to be abusive to Ada maybe trying to have an argument with her, but Maggie knows that she will walk all over her. Maggie tells Willie that he will be an eighteen shilling bookmaker for the rest of his life, this is to tell him if you marry Ada you will be poor forever but if you marry me I will be able to help you.
This is very cunning of Maggie knowing that Willie wants to make the most in his life and he knows he will be stuck in Hobson’s for the rest of his life without Maggie, on a wage so low he can’t afford the things that he makes. Maggie also tells Willie “You’ll be a slave, and a contented slave.” This is telling him you’ll be stuck her forever owned by Hobson and if you try to escape you’ll have to come back just to earn money, you are trapped here without my help. This is showing Maggie hurting someone to help someone and herself which is how her. The play is showing how she is a liberator breaking the chains off Willie and setting him free in the world with her.
Maggie said “I’ve got my work cut out.” This shows how she isn’t giving up saying I will convince you sooner or later which shows her character as being very strong willed and what she said goes without a question. When Willie wants to be left alone Maggie said “So does the fly when the spider catches him.” This could be interpreted as Maggie catching him so he is not a free man Maggie has just took him in as a trap like Hobson had him, Maggie may do it with a lot more lenience but still not enough for him to be a freed man.
Maggie also says “You are my man.” This is indicating that she owns him like a slave which is just what her father done but in a worse way, it could be very demining as well because Willie could think that he isn’t worth anything being tossed about from Hobson to Maggie like an item of trade. When Maggie tells Willie to “hold your hush.” This is telling him to shut up using an imperative, many men those days would not allow women to command them to shut up but because Willie is feeble he has no choice so he just goes on with it.