Henry Hobson, a boot shop owner in Salford, not a very successful one either. Henry has three children, all girls, Maggie, who is thirty, Alice, twenty-three and finally Victoria, known as ‘Vickey’ who is twenty-one. All of the girls work for Hobson, but do not receive any form of wage. Hobson treats the three girls with no respect whatsoever; we understand that this is true by the tone and aggression in Hobson’s voice when he interacts with them.
He is the most hypocritical man in ‘Hobson’s Choice’; this is proven by the change in his tone and body language when Ms Hepworth, a high classed customer, enters his shop. When Hobson greets Ms. Hepworth he immediately rushes to pull up a chair for her to sit on. Ms Hepworth questions Henry Hobson about who made her shoes, which she had recently purchased in this shop. Hobson does not give her a straight answer so Ms. Hepworth uses a different, more violent approach to receive an answer. Maggie immediately calls, “Tubby!” while pulling up the trap door from the pavement referring to Tubby Wadlow, a shoemaker who works for Hobson. Henry assures Ms. Hepworth that he is responsible for all work done in the premises. Tubby is also asked if he made the boots to which he replied, “They are Willie’s making, those.” Ms. Hepworth then asked who Willie was, when Henry Hobson rushed to answering by saying that he “is capable of making the man suffer for it”. We get the image that Hobson is nothing but a two-faced man full of hypocrisy.
Henry is a very social person, as he is always willing to go to the pub and to meet up and drink with anybody. At the start we are told that the previous night he were to have drunk with the Masons’.
When Henry found out about Maggie’s rash decision in marrying Willie Mossop, Henry’s world-class boot maker, he immediately turned on him unbuckling and concealing his belt.
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