Will has also become a lot more educated, thanks to Maggie. He is no longer saying phrases like “well, by gum” all the time, he can hold a conversation and he speaks with greater length and convolution; “Don’t let us be too long about this. You’ve kept me waiting now a good while and my time’s valuable. I’m busy at my shop.” Will addresses Hobson with much more confidence than he would have done the year before. This quote also shows how proud Will is that he owns his own shop and now seems to show more self-belief, he knows his time is valuable.
Will now knows what he wants and how he is going to get there, he has aspirations and dreams. One of these dreams is to own a shop in Manchester one day, he believes that that is the next step after he has moved into partnership with Hobson; “It’s no farther from Chapel Street to Saint Ann’s Square than it is from Oldfield Road to Chapel Street. I’ve done one jump in a year and if I wait a bit I’ll do the other.”
Will wanted to take Hobson into partnership on the condition that Hobson was a ‘sleeping partner’ so he couldn’t interfere, also he was determined that his name would be first on the sign board and he knew how to go about it. After a lot of discussion Will got what he wanted and also told Hobson that the shop was in need of a refurbishment; “I’ll make some alterations in this shop, and all. I will so” Until the end of the fourth act Will appeared to speak with so much confidence, at the end of Act Four it became apparent that he isn’t as bold as he was making out; “But I weren’t by half so certain as I sounded. Words came from my mouth that made me jump at my own boldness.”
And at the very end when everyone else has left Will simply says ” Well, by gum!” this shows that he hasn’t changed much and will always be the same lad under the fade. The techniques used by the playwright to show the changes in the character of Will Mossop are the stage directions, the language, the positions on stage and the length and complexity of his speech. The most obvious technique that Harold Brighouse, the playwright, uses is the language.
In the first act Will speaks mostly with local dialect, he says “well, by gum” a lot. Repeated phrases are another technique, it shows that he doesn’t know much else and has a very limited vocabulary, Brighouse has Will saying very simple sentences and never initiating conversation. In the fourth act Brighouse manages to convey the impression that Will is learning to use longer, more complex sentences because when he is talking just to Maggie he reverts back to using simple words.
Another technique that Brighouse uses to show the change in Will’s character is the position of him on the stage , Will spends most of the first act down in the cellar. This is subtly showing that Will is socially below the Hobsons’ as well as physically. Will appears to be more comfortable down in the cellar, when he is up in the shop he is desperate to be get back; “I’ll be getting back to my stool, Miss Maggie. (Moves to trap)” In the fourth act when he returns to the shop Will is positioned up a ladder looking at stock this shows that now he is actually above the Hobsons’ socially because his shop has got most of Hobson’s trade, he has a better business and prospects.
In conclusion I am in slight agreement with the opening statement, Willie is still the likeable lad he was at the beginning underneath the harsh man he seems to be now in front of everyone except Maggie. I don’t think that Will’s character has changed deep down because all along he has just done what people have told him to do. At the beginning he was told he was going to marry Ada and that he was working class and there was nothing he could do about it. Then Maggie told him he is not going to marry Ada, Will is to marry her and he is going to have a successful business. Will is very good at doing what people tell him to, Maggie told him to be confident when speaking to Hobson, so he was. William Mossop has been consistent all the way through the play, doing what he is told.