Social Issues And Comedy Of Hobsons Choice

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G.C.S.E English Literature Coursework Assignment 19th Century drama Hobson's Choice-Harold Brighouse Hobson's choice is a Lancashire comedy. Shows how Brighouse structures the play whilst emphasising the comedy.

Harold Brighouse deals with many social issues in the play. The first issue that is presented deals with class. Mrs. Hepworth is upper class, which is shown as she has her very own carriage and she is rich so she has no need to work. Hobson is very obsequious towards Hobson Mrs Hepworth for example Hobson went on his knees and said 'very glad to have the honor of serving you' (Act 1 page 10) Mrs Hepworth asks to speak with Willie the maker of her shoes. She praises Willies ability and makes him more clearly a business idea 'the shape of a man' and asks him to read something but Willie cannot read. Later on in the play Willie rises from a small-uneducated working class man into a respected middle class educated man.

An issue towards Hobson is alcoholism, which is a serious problem for him like when he had a lot to drink and on the way home he fell down a manhole. He even started to hallucinate like when he saw the rabbit, which could only be shown in the play and shows comedy in Hobson's alcoholism. The more he drank the more ill he got. He cannot recognize the problem but sees it as 'Reasonable refreshment' (Act 4 page 66) . When finally he had to stay at home with a doctor checking up on him, as well as he had to stop drinking immediately. Dr Macfalane told Hobson that he had chronic alcoholism. Hobson wanted to be looked after by Maggie and knows it will entail his teetotalism.

A central theme in the play deals with the emancipation of women. Hobson is a mean unwilling man and Maggie disagrees with Hobson as well as she doesn't listen to him when he acts like he is in charge. For example when she told Hobson 'Its an hour off dinner time' (Act 1 page 4) then Hobson said 'I wont have it do you here that' (Act 1page 4) Hobson wants to get rid of his daughters Alice and Vicky because they cost him too much. Hobson doesn't want Maggie married off instead he wants her to work in his shop.

But Maggie has her own plans to marry Willie for she thinks the two of them could make a great business opportunity and ends up marrying him after he even said he doesn't love her. The match is a fine match and both Maggie and Willie have grown up. Hobson sums up his daughters behavior as uppishness and does not recognize the part they play in making the business successful.

The working conditions of Willie Mossop are atrocious because he works in a dark basement, which has insufficient space, and he has to stay down there. His living conditions are no different from his working conditions as he lives in a very small house with two other people, Ada Figgins and her mother, which makes it crowded. Hobson's living and working conditions are a lot different from Willie Mossops for Hobson has a large clean shop which gets looked after and it is a comfortable place, his home is big with lots of rooms and has a great amount of space.

The respectability is shown by what they do for example they take their hats off to greet people who they know and even people they don't know and they say Mr And Mrs to people to be polite as well. When Maggie calls Tubby up from the basement, he doesn't call her Maggie instead he refers to her as 'Miss Maggie' (Act 3 page 58) . Hobson has no respect for Mrs. Hepworth for he is jealous of her because she doesn't have to work she is rich, and has her own carriage.

Willies education was what you would expect from someone from working class. He didn't know how to read or Wright but Maggie insisted on helping him, which she did because she was an educated woman.

'the mans a treasure' (Act 1 page 10) as Mrs Hepworth said about him. And Maggie understood this in a literal sense. Willie learns how to read and Wright and even starts to talk to Hobson.

There is some comedy in the play like when Hobson got drunk and he fell down a manhole, which is slapstick comedy because you wouldn't expect a respectable man to do that and when Hobson comes out of the moonrakers and he sees an image of himself, at a much earlier age of his life. Hobson is startled at what he had seen and jumps back due to the image. When Mrs. Hepworth comes into Hobson's shop and he is so subservient to her with his 'very glad to have the honor of serving you' (Act 1 page 10) and when she leaves he changes to 'last time she puts her foot in my shop' (Act 1 page 11) This shows that Hobson can make us laugh.