Ada enters in the scene as a sandy girl who looks poor spirited and poor blooded in clogs and shawl. She also appears to be of a lower class. Ada enters with Willie’s dinner in a basin, carried in a handkerchief. Maggie approaches Ada and tells her that she is “treading on her foot” Ada responds to this by looking at her feet, which tells us that she is slightly stupid. Maggie doesn’t want the competition of Ada because of what she sees in Willie.
Willie tries speaking to Ada and Maggie but has no luck as Maggie interrupts him saying “you hold your hush” This tells us that Willie’s character has not yet fully developed into the confident person that he is going to be. Ada reveals that Willie plays an instrument and sees something special in it. He plays the Jews harp and Maggie finds this both amusing and pathetic. However, Ada is bedazzled by it.
Maggie later reveals her ambitious nature by saying “that’s the past. It’s the future that I’m looking to.” Here, Maggie’s ambitious nature really does show off to the reader. She uses this to question Ada’s thoughts on Will about his future to see if she has any ambitions for him like Maggie does. Ada speaks out in defence saying “you mind your own business miss ‘Obson. Will Mossop’s no concern of thine” here we see Ada becoming defensive over Maggie’s criticism and comments. Ada says “I’m trusting him to make the future right” This tells us that Ada has no vision for Will. Maggie uses imperatives on Willie and Ada in the scene when she says “Willie, you wed me.” This imperative is very strong and straight to the point another characteristic of the role of Maggie.
Willie says “aren’t you going to put up a better fight for me than that, Ada? You’re fair giving me to her.” Here, we feel pathos for Willie as Ada is not as strong as Maggie; she backs down because of her place in society. Willie also says that “there’s no escape,” and yet again, we feel more pathos towards Will.
Maggie has a comical side to her but at the same time; there is a serious side to these comical comments. She says “can I sell you a pair of clogs?” and then after Ada’s response says “then you’ve got no business here, have you?” Here, Maggie uses her dominance over Ada and gets her to leave the shop to settle the argument. Ada replies to this by saying “you mean I’m to go like this?” This suggests that she is shocked about what Maggie has implied to her and is totally astounded by it. Maggie’s role in this scene is to stand in the way of Ada and Willie’s relationship and to get him to marry Maggie. Ada says she is going to tell her mother as she arranged the marriage for them. Willie is afraid of her as Maggie asks him “are you afraid of her?” Willie replies in a hesitating way; “yes”, this shows willies fearfulness of her and Willie will get “a thick ear”.
Maggie’s says “you won’t go home tonight” the use of imperative tells us that Willie is being controlled by Maggie and she is using it to an advantage. When Maggie says “No”, she may be meaning it in a commanding tone or an affectionate tone, as a director I would think that the tone of Maggie would be an affectionate tone as she has just won the battle over Willie and would want to be as kind to him as possible by compliments or flattery. Willie says “it’s like an ‘appy dream” Maggie has an impact on Willie which is part of her role in the play.
Later Vickey and Alice enter from the house to find a timid Willie running to the trap, this symbolises the class system of the time, with Willie being low class and below Vickey and Alice who are middle class. Alice is completely surprised by her decision and devastated in a way as Willie is going to be her brother in law, which means that it could have an effect on their social status. Maggie sees no implications of this on their position. As the director I would consider that Alice and Vickey would be oblivious to Maggie’s decision, they both don’t want to consider Willie as their brother in law.
When Hobson finds out about the marriage he says “marry – you – Mossop!” he is surprised at first and comical about it but later realises that Maggie is serious, when she says, “you said I was too old to get a husband.” This shows us her defiant nature towards her father’s attitude. “I’m marrying Willie Mossop. And now I’ll tell you my terms.” Here, Maggie is demonstrating her dominance over Hobson. She uses an imperative to command him to follow her terms and take them into account.
“If Willie goes, I go.” Here, Maggie is threatening Hobson with her overall dominance over him. She also gives us the impression that she has everything under control and is a liberator. When Willie enters back into the shop, he is threatened by Hobson with his belt. Willie reacts to this by saying, “If you touch me with that belt, I’ll take her quick, aye, and stick to her like glue.” When Hobson strikes Willie, he kisses Maggie with temper and not with passion. Maggie responds to his defiance to Hobson by complimenting him and putting her arm around his neck, while ‘Hobson stands in amazed indecision.’
At the end of the play we see a metamorphism in the character of Willie, he used to be a timid, fearful, unconfident low class citizen but after Maggie’s educating of him, we see a new confident, ambitious, fearless and optimistic person. Maggie’s overall role in the play as a liberator pays off at the end as she brought Willie up to his full potential and transformed him. In conclusion I found that Maggie’s character in the play is very dominant and liberating to other characters, however Maggie’s role as a liberator and vision seeker shows off in numerous ways.