Act Three illustrates that Willie’s education has improved radically from when his standard of education was initially talked about in the play in Act Two: “It’s a very great pleasure to us to see you here tonight”. Here we see an extract from the speech, which Willie performed at his wedding. Willie’s education is improving from Maggie’s determination to get Willie educated. Other guests at the wedding service also notice the improvement in Willie: “Who taught you, Will? ” Vicky clearly notices that that Willie was not able to perform that speech without the assistance from someone else.
In Act three, Maggie gets Albert and Freddie doing some chores at her house after the wedding: “You and Fred can just lend him a hand with the washing up, Albert”. In this scene of the play we see that the upper-class gentlemen get treated the same way as the lower-class gentlemen by Maggie as she forces Albert and Freddie to help Willie washing up the pots. However, Albert and Freddie feel that washing up is a chore in which upper class people should not have to do: “Aren’t you surprised to find us doing this?
” however, Maggie reply’s saying: “Surprised? I told you to do it”. This reply sums up Maggie’s character; she is determined and bossy which helps her to become successful. Act three shows how confident and successful Maggie is, as she obtains ‘marriage portions’ for her younger sisters and she also gets the better off her father, Hobson. Willie also begins to become successful as his shop takes the high-class trade away from Hobson’s shop. Towards the end of Act three, Hobson storms off vowing to get men to run his shop.
Willie continues his educational lessons with Maggie but shows that his shyness within his character has still remained: “He looks shyly at bedroom door, sits and takes his boots off. He rises, boots in hand moves towards door, hesitates”. As Willie is too shy to go in to the bedroom, Maggie comes to collect him: “Maggie opens the bedroom door… she come to Will… takes him by the ear, and returns with him to the bedroom” Another example of her assertiveness is when Maggie is shown here as she comes out of the bedroom especially to collect Willie as he is not courageous enough to go in by himself.
At the end of Act three, Maggie is seen at her managing best and the beginning of Willie’s introduction to book learning is shown: “Your writing’s improving, Will. I’ll set you a short copy for tonight”. At this stage, it can be seen that Willie’s education has improved again and is now being taught how to write by Maggie. Act four takes place a year later and is a close to the play. In this, it can be seen how much Maggie and Willie have risen since the beginning of the play and subsequently the downfall of Hobson.
The action of the play demonstrates that determination and education are the key factors, which help to overcome disadvantage. By the end of the play, the reader can see that Maggie and Willie have become extremely successful, as Willie takes over Hobson’s shop, which in turn means that Hobson does not have any authority over Maggie and Willie. Therefore instead of Hobson being the master, Willie Mossop is, thus the roles are reversed. It can also be seen that Willie Mossop is a changed man by the end of the play; confident and able to stand-up to his father-in-law, Hobson.