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"Fugard creates drama which engages our sympathies for the fate of two or three characters closely entangled by ties of blood,love or friendship, struggling to survive in an arbitrary, bleak, and almost meaningless universe".

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Introduction

"Fugard creates drama which engages our sympathies for the fate of two or three characters closely entangled by ties of blood, love or friendship, struggling to survive in an arbitrary, bleak, and almost meaningless universe" How far is this an appropriate description of "Master Harold"...and the boys? ""Master Harold"... and the boys", written by Athol Fugard, could be described as the struggle of three individuals who are thrown in a desolate and bleak world and form a sympathetic bond with the readers through their effort in finding meaning in this unwelcoming society. This depiction, though quite accurate, eludes to deal with the symbolic meaning of the play, which deals with racism and contains an exaggerated illustration of the world in which the characters live. The play provides a symbolic example that embraces racism and prejudice, pride and freedom in an enlightening way. It may seem as though the "apartheid" only dictates the environment in which the characters are immersed in and is a mere background for the emotional interchange and constant struggle that occurs through out the play, when in fact this incessant battle embodies the racial tension. ...read more.

Middle

One of the situations that clearly depicts this is when Sam prepares a kite for the small boy and takes him outside to fly it. The lines: "If you really want to know, that's why I made you that kite. I want you to look up, be proud of something. Of yourself . . . and you certainly was that when I left you with it up there on the hill. Oh, ja something else."(p. 58) clearly show that Sam gave to Hally the phenomena of flying, the ideology of climbing high above his shame. Sam then becomes fixated upon the idea of teaching Hally the unethical qualities of discrimination. Hally has educated Sam with the knowledge acquired from school textbooks, but Sam has been trying to teach Hally vital lessons necessary for life. There is a clear difference between the way Hally treats Sam and the way he deals with Willy for he harbours great respect for Sam and thinks little of Willy. The author does not transmit that the characters dwell in an arbitrary and almost meaningless world. ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems as though Sam's influence is incapable of outweighing the negative environment and can not shape the confused boy to his liking, but given the nature of the ending the audience can not know what will happen next, only speculate. To conclude, the play does indeed narrate the quest of three characters, but the world that surrounds them is demanding and challenging and not totally bleak and devoid of meaning. But, more importantly, the play deals with hatred, segregation and discrimination with a worldwide meaningfulness. Unfortunately, the apartheid system, Hally's parents, and society as a whole had a greater influence on Hally than the one black man that was like a father to him. But the question that remains unspoken is whether or not the readers will choose to sit in the bench, bearing in mind that the choice rests solely upon them. It is possible to say that Athol fugard is "An intrepid social reformer" that "will bot be daunted by the magnitude of the task he has undertaken." (p. 17) Paula eleod 2 ...read more.

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