Will – Hobson’s Choice Essay
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Despite the disliking of the sisters, it is told that Will remarks that he ‘rather likes it’. He also adds a long, pleasant comment about ‘kissing nice women’. This already shows how his attitude is changing towards making contact with other people. On the other hand, I think the writer hints the presence of dramatic irony in a subtle way. In the times when the play was written, the male in the family were almost always superior; especially because women did not have equal rights.
However, throughout the rest of the play, Will is obviously shown to be controlled by Maggie all the time.
Just as the couple prepares to leave for their wedding, Maggie asks Will for his honest opinion of their marriage, and if he wants to marry her at all. Will reassures her that his mind is made up, which pleases her; but as he carries on talking, Maggie intercepts as soon as he says the word ‘resigned’. I understood the word ‘resigned’ as that he accepted their marriage with a little reluctance. Moreover, there may be some positiveness to his speech as Will says he will say ‘Yes’ to the parson’s questions at the church. Furthermore, Will answers Maggie by the phrase ‘Yes, Maggie’.
This reminds us again, the dominance of Maggie over Will. I think that there is a big difference in Will, comparing Act 2 and 3 of the play. At the beginning of Act 3, Will gives a toast to the guests of the dinner after the wedding. In contrast to his usual speeches, he gives an impressively long speech. Although, it is still evident that he has not yet perfectly mastered his reading skills. As Will struggles to read a word in the middle of his speech, Maggie interrupts in an undertone, and he carries on. Moreover, Will is shown to have been stammering all throughout his speech.
However, I think that this is an amazing improvement in his educational side, as it is told at the very beginning that Will is not fully literate, and that he cannot write. After his speech, he is complimented by numerous guests, and it is told that Maggie has been ‘educating’ Will. This can be shown as Will’s first change by the influence of Maggie, his wife. Likewise, the major consequence of Will and Maggie moving out of the Hobson’s family house would be in the introduction of Act 3. In the first paragraph, the sentence ‘William Mossop, Practical Bootmaker’, stands out.
It is said that the phrase is shown on each window of their cellars. This shows Will has become a master of a boot shop of his own. Although in a small scale, this is an enormous change in Will’s life. As he owns a shop, he is now able to earn how much he deserves as a good boot-maker, and therefore feel confident, and complacent about himself. Following the wedding dinner, Will is left with some male characters alone at the shop. At this point, Will’s reluctance of being left with Maggie alone is shown through his speech, ‘fond of company’.
However, this is later shown as a positive reluctance of his shyness of being with Maggie, which could also mean that he has started to recognize his loving feelings towards Maggie. This is confirmed by the other characters suggesting that he is ‘shy of his wife’, and Will admitting it afterwards. There is also a happy laughter in the middle, which suggests that Will has developed socially. Moreover, his phrase above is an enormous difference to Will at the beginning of the play. This is presumably because Will is much less inhibited than he used to be.
I think his speech shows a little of his increased interest of interacting with other people as well. A crucial scene to support that Will has changed in his characteristics would be when Henry visits the couple’s cellar for the first time. As Henry is knocking on the door, Maggie quickly reminds Will that he is the ‘gaffer’ at their place. In other words, she is encouraging him to have confidence in himself as much as he can, as he is the master at the shop. To acknowledge this to Henry, Maggie asks Will if she could allow him inside the shop, and Will answers ‘loudly and boldly’.
This is presumably an awkward situation for Henry, as he had been Will’s master when he was at the Hobson’s boot shop. Those two words indicate how pompous and in-control he sounds, especially to Hobson, as he also speaks very much like a master. In truth, Will may be a little nervous inside, confronting Henry in this way; however he decides to hide his weakness. By the end of Act 3 of the play, the celebrations of their wedding are coming to an end, and it is the couple’s first night together. Maggie is already in the bedroom, and Will has a little moment alone in the living room.
He repeatedly walks back and forth to the bedroom door as he ‘hesitates’ whether he should go in, or not; also looking ‘shyly’ at the door. In the end, he decides to lie on the sofa, to sleep in the living room. Nevertheless, Will gives ‘occasional glances’ at the bedroom door. This indicates his mixed feelings about their first night after marriage. I think it could mean his coyness, but mainly uneasiness of not being brave enough to go into the bedroom. I think the most hilarious part shown in the play, about the couple, is when Maggie brings Will into the bedroom.
As Maggie approaches Will, it is said that she grabs him ‘by the ear’ to return to the bedroom. This shows that Maggie is still the dominant of the couple. Although Will has changed a lot in his personality, it is generally seen that he remains being absolutely obedient to Maggie as much as a loving husband would do to his wife. Henry, the eldest character of the play, is seen to be unwell. As he is rejected by his other daughters, Maggie is left with the responsibility of taking care of him. Moreover, it is decided that the couple will move into the Hobson’s house.
Because of that, there is an argument between Henry and Will about the boot shop. Although Henry is presently the master of the shop, Will also is the master of his own shop. The typically selfish Henry’s character is shown here, as he offers Will the ‘old job’ and the ‘old wage’ of 18 shillings a week. Ignoring the ungenerous offer, Will offers Henry a choice of being taken in ‘partnership’ or not being taken care by the couple. The couple discusses the name for the shop without Henry’s agreement, and there is another argument as he interrupts with strong dissatisfaction.
Although it does not seem obvious at start, there is a sense of dramatic irony, when Maggie is speaking against Will in order to test if he is brave enough to stand up to Henry. When Henry has gone, Will shows us the innocent side of him, asking ‘Did I sound confident, Maggie? ‘ Despite Maggie’s praises, Will admits that he ‘trembled’ in his shoes, which makes the readers smile, to see the old Will again. Moreover, it is seen that Will does not call Maggie by the name ‘Miss’ anymore, which suggests their intimate relationship. Another evidence to support the closeness of Will and Maggie are in the following scene.
It is told that Maggie was married to Will with a ‘brass ring’. Brass rings, in those days, were very cheap and undecorated, often used by the poorer people. I could describe Maggie as being ‘thrifty’, although the wedding ring must still be very meaningful for her. Will mentions that he has some ‘improvements’ to work on, meaning to surprise Maggie with a new ring. However, Maggie refuses for the reason mentioned above. The following scene of Will, when he ‘kisses her’ indicates a mutual love between the couple at last. I think this is a significant change in Will, which happened as he gradually recognized Maggie’s affectionate feelings.
From this, you can see how enormously Will have changed, and how he was influenced by other characters and his environment. I have been deeply impressed by how much Will have improved in diverse sides of his characteristics. However, throughout the story, there is one part of him that does not change at all. That would be his typical speech, ‘By Gum! ‘ Lower 5 17/05/07 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.