In Act I of Hobson's Choice, what do we learn of Maggie's attitude to love and romance?



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Posted on (Answer #1)

It is absolutely clear from the opening of this play that Maggie has no time for love and romance whatsoever. Note the way she impatiently deals with Albert, even though she knows that he is really at their shop because of his romantic interest in Alice rather than for any other reason. When Alice says that "courting must come first" before marriage, Maggie's response reveals her true attitude to love and marriage:

It needn't. [She picks up a slipper.] See that slipper with a paste buckle on it to make it pretty? Courting's like that, my lass. All glitter and no use to nobody.

Maggie is not interested in any way in the appearance of love and courting. For her, courting is something that is completely unnecessary and only a social convention that is meant to beautify one person's interest in another. Maggie believes that if Albert wishes to marry Alice, he should just "do it," without having to worry about this completely useless and unnecessary process of courting. Her use of the sliipper and her comparison of the buckle to the process of courting emphasises her approach to marriage and love: it is a simple process that is only complicated by society's need to see a woman courted by a man prior to marriage. 


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