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How does Athol Fugard present personal and political conflict in the opening scene of the Island?

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Introduction

How does Athol Fugard present personal and political conflict in the opening scene of the Island? Athol fugard presents the opening scene in a number of ways. The play is all about contrasts in personal and political conflict. The Island was written by Fugard to show the situation between whites and blacks in South Africa. When the play was first preformed it was more like a political play, but audiences see it as based more on the human spirit. After the apartheid had finished the play was more about how people overcame pressure and stress. The play was written around the 1970's when there was Apartheid in South Africa. This meant that the white people were in control of the black people. The black people were treated as slaves and were said to be like animals, if the black people were to disobey the rules then one of the punishments was to be thrown into prison, which was where this play was set. ...read more.

Middle

John and Winston, who are the two characters in the cell, have been thrown together by chance, but they have a common cause to hold them together. They are on there own and have no possessions this causes dramatic confluence and conflict due to the claustrophobic space. John and Winston are two very different characters John being more educated and spiritual whilst Winston is more practical and physically stronger. They are living in constant fear of being beaten by Hodoshe, which is the only thing they have in common. They have realised that they must work together for black freedom, because if they don't they will fail. Hodoshe wants to break their relationship by giving them pointless, 'futile' and hardworking jobs, but they manage to overcome this tremendous task when there friendship is tested at the beach. ...read more.

Conclusion

This incident proves how strong there relationship is when Winston realises that John is more important than his own needs. John repeats the word 'domination' and makes a joke to show that they are rebuilding after the conflict and that they are together, Hodoshe is the enemy and he is not going to become between them. This play is all about pressures, stress and the contrast between the whites and blacks. The island shows how the blacks were tortured and given such hard, futile jobs to try and break black society. Hodoshe thought that if they could break this then that would stop the blacks protesting against the pass lours. Hodoshe is like god he has control over the blacks and tries to punish them not only mentally but physically. However John and Winston have realised if they stick together then they will not fail. ...read more.

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