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James Gerry - 10 Mark Question - Maggie and John

10 marker - Maggie and John
By referring to the extract and elsewhere in the play, examine how the
relationship between Maggie and John develops.
Maggie and John’s relationship is shown throughout the play in different ways. For
example it is shown in the relationship of the older generation, Maggie and John
that constructed gender roles are rooted in relationships in those times. However
we also see how through the relationship between Maggie and John develops into
something non-conforming to the standards at the time, we see the role in
constructed gender roles switch, this is shown when says that she can handle John
when he becomes emotional at the end. Maggie and John's relationship also
develops as Maggie now has the confidence to stand up against John and not
wallow in conflicted feelings about his decisions, this is shown when Maggie
outbursts at John at their daughter for bringing money back home.
“Dinna fret yersel, Jenny. I can manage him … I can aye manage him.”
This quote shows that Maggie’s relationship with john has developed over the
course of the play as she now has the self-reliance to manage his emotions which
contradicts the idea that their relationship and John’s belief in that they were
conforming to constructed gender roles in their relationship. The repetition of the
phrase ‘I can manage him’ shows that Maggie is self-assured in the fact she is
confident enough to handle her husband and her family before she didn’t have the
poise before to be able to. This adds to the development of their relationship as it
shows how Maggie is now the one in control within the relationship.
(with uncharacteristic force) “An so we wull be happy! Whore’s winnins, did ye ca
this? An did I hear ye use the word ‘tart’? Whit wis I, when we was coortin, but your
tart?” this quote shows that Maggie’s and John’s relationship has took a turning
point as Maggie now has started to stand up for Jenny as the irony of the situation
becomes apparent, through Jenny being somewhat similar to Maggie when she was
younger, Maggie now doesn’t wallow in her feelings about what John is doing but
stands up by saying how they both did the same thing as Jenny ‘when we was
coortin’. The development of their relationship is also shown as Maggie confronts
John’s words about her daughter being a ‘tart’ by standing up for Jenny and to say
to John if she was a ‘tart?’. This outburst of Maggie at John shows the turning point
in the relationship near the end and fully solidifies the reversal of the structured
gender roles John had put in place.
‘I’m paid wi love’.
This quote shows the relationship between Maggie and John before the turning
point in their development, Maggie often naive to her own ability in herself she
often would delude herself to John's antics by being content with his love and just
that, no help financially, emotionally or in their home. This adds to the idea that
their relationship originally was rooted in the structured gender roles of the time.
‘Heartburn! I wonder whit kind o a male idiot called indigestion heartburn? Ma
Goad! I could tell him whit heartburn is’
This quote shows how before Maggie has gained control in their relationship she
was often burdened with the emotional carnage left behind by an argument
between her and John or their children, which shows almost physically with her
indigestion stating how it's ‘heartburn’ and what heartburn -really- is. This shows
how Maggie before didn’t have the emotional capacity to stand up to John but to let
pent up emotions of his actions build up unhealthily which despite their relationship
being relatively healthy comes off as toxic in the lead up to Maggie standing up to
“when him an me wis coortin, I’d a red hat…”
This quote shows how Maggie and John's relationship has developed after
marriage, as the red hat John buys her for her christmas reminds her of her past
with him before she got married. The actual hat is significant too, it's
unconventional and often scoffed at by Granny and Lily, but it's the
unconventionality of the hat that represents Maggie and what she was like before
she had to become obedient to John because of his belief in the constructed gender
roles, of him being a provider and her being a housewife at the time. Her wearing
the hat to go out with Lily shows her resuscitation of that old independence she
once had showing the development of her and John’s relationship.