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GCSE English Literature Guide to Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice Part Two

| Thursday October 24, 2013

Categories: KS4, OCR GCSE, WJEC Eduqas GCSE, Drama, Hobson's Choice, Analysing Drama, Hot Entries, Writing, Drama Analysis, Literary Analysis, OCR GCSE English Literature, Unit A662, WJEC GCSE English Literature, Unit 2a Literary Heritage, Drama and Prose

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The following guide is in two parts; Part One covers the background and Acts 1 and 2 and Part Two explores Acts 3 and 4.

Act 3


The setting in Act 3 moves to the cellar in Oldfield Road where Willie and Maggie live and have set up shop.  Maggie and Willie are celebrating their marriage along with Alice and Vicky and their boyfriends. Alice and Vicky are surprised at how much Willie has achieved in such a short time.

The sisters suggest they leave but Willie is reluctant to let them go as he is nervous about being left alone with Maggie on their wedding night. Maggie makes the Freddie and Albert wash the dishes. Willie normally does them and she expects the boys to help him. 

Hobson arrives at the door and Alice, Vicky Freddie and Albert hide in the bedroom.  Maggie knows her father has come to ask for help in getting him out of the lawsuit but she makes him wait by sitting him down to eat. When he is allowed to get round to the subject, he is unhappy that Willie is there but Maggie insists that her business is now also Willie’s. Maggie and Willie make everything seem worse to Hobson by reminding him of the shame that it will bring on man of such high standing in the town and what the publicity will do to reputation and business. Being mean, Hobson is also concerned about the cost of lawyers.

In the middle of this the others appear from the bedroom. Albert acting in his capacity as a lawyer comes up with a plan to save Hobson’s reputation by settling out of court. He demands £1000 in damages – a lot of money in 1880. Maggie intervenes saying that £500 is more reasonable and that is what he can afford. Because this seems like victory to Hobson he agrees to pay the £500 but when Maggie tells him it will be used to provide settlements for Alice and Vicky to marry, he realises he has been tricked. He decides to ban all the women from his life and show them that he can run the...

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