This was at a time when the suffragettes were promoting women. Maggie’s superiority over Willie would have been overwhelming for the young women of society. They would look towards Willie as the man they would want to be subject to, if only he was of a higher class. They envy Maggie for a man who is easily to control. We see Hobson’s continuing role as the master. He calls Willie’s father a ‘Work house brat’ implying that he will not have his daughter marry such a ‘low’ being. Hobson foresees himself as the ‘laughing stoke of the place’ if he allowed such a marriage.
The audience I believe, especially the older generations would have stood with Hobson, they ‘would shunt at’ Maggie’s disobedience and when Hobson decided to beat Willie, these people would admire his role as master. However the younger women would have reacted with sympathy for Willie, not only because he was beaten, but he’s suffering from Maggie. When Willie stood up to his master at the end of act one, “… and if Mr Hobson raises his strap again, I’ll walk out of this shop with thee. ” This would have been quite emotional for some of the audience. Here is a man, defying his master for what he believes in.
After scene one, the audience begins to see a more independent Willie. With the help of Maggie, Willie was able to set up his own shoe-making business to rival his father-in-law to be. The audience would have thought this was very un-chivalry of him. Willie’s name has changed along with his improving social status. His business card announces him as ‘William Mossop, Practical boot and shoe maker’. This was more respectable and presents William as a skilled craftsman. From this point on, the audience would perceive young William with greater respect, the fact that he has aspired with the help of Maggie to become a man of his own trade.
Towards the end of act three, Maggie tells William that his writing ‘has improved’ thus creating a sense of joy in the audience. There is always joy when, as Maggie put it, ‘Great things grow from small’. We still see Maggie as very dominant as she says, “I’m going for bed, you finish that copy before you come. ” The audience would still have varied opinions with regards to this, some supporting the modern role of women, others unenthusiastically abiding by a more traditional role. Nevertheless, William answers humbly, “Yes, Maggie.
” The beginning of act four, we see Maggie’s dominance with Tubby, her old employee, he describes her as ‘not slavish’ and she ‘stood up to the customers’. In the height of act four, William begins to be more respected with his new wife’s help. When he was expected to visit his father-in-law, Maggie says to Hobson, “Don’t you think you should put your collar on before Will arrives”. Hobson I think still stand proud, he says after putting his collar on, “It’s not for the sake of Will Mossop. It’s because my neck is cold”.
Although the audience at the first London performance would have felt greater respect for Will, I think that they would take sides with Hobson, their social equivalent. Although Maggie was dominant to Will, in public, she does wonders to boost his reputation, and when asked if she could look after Hobson when he fell ill, she gracefully replied, “It’s not up to me, it’s up to my husband”. At this point, I think the traditional crowd of the audience would react happily to this that Maggie acts with dignity and works hard to preserve the reputation of her husband.
Towards the end, Bridge house steers the audience to favour William and his new wife. When asked if his business was more than Hobson’s life, he answers, “I am none worried that bad and I’ll see my business suffer”. He has every right to say that, however, he allowed Hobson to stay with him; his sympathetic approach ultimately gains him the favour of the audience. He also becomes dominant, “Come home now Maggie”. William admitted ‘[I’ve] moved on a bit since… ” working at Hobson’s shoe shop. However he confided in Maggie that he did ‘Bored on Hobson too hard.
‘ At the end of it all the audience would have seen a poor worker become a respected craftsman, whose name precedes that of his former employer. It’s an inspirational for all however, for the people who could use this as something to aspire to, they were not present; they were working in the factories, and fighting for King and Country. 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 Harold Brighouse section.