Maste Harold And The Boys

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“Master Harold…and the Boys” -Essay An individual in the text “Master Harold… and the Boys”, written by Athol Fugard, who subconsciously constructs identity is Hally. Hally constructs his own identity without knowing what he is doing. However, it is not just Hally who influences his own identity, but other people around him and the society he lives in, as well as the mind set of the same. His identity also affects the way Hally copes with problems and trouble in life; how he deals with conflict is defined by his personality. Hally constructs an identity which, by many people, might perhaps be regarded as negative. He is full of shame for several reasons, and lacks self esteem. Hally is influenced by the negative image of his father, who seems to be an antagonist in the play, without realizing it. Though Hally’s father is only mentioned, and never appears on stage in person, he is a major part of the conflict Hally finds himself in. Hally lives in a society where “whites” are superior to “non-whites”. This train of thought is taught from a young age, and therefore prejudiced behavior of whites against non-whites is a common, in fact normal, occurrence. Hally, being white by skin colour, has been brought up to perceive non-white as inferior to him, no matter what age they may be, and therefore feels that he can commandeer them around. Also, his upbringing gives him the notion that he is smarter than non-whites (we see this in how he perceives himself to be the teacher in his relationship to Sam). As already briefly mentioned, Hally suffers from a low self esteem due to shame. This shame originates from his father’s actions, in particular from one specific incident in Hally’s childhood. This feeling of shame influences how Hally behaves. He sees challenges in life as fiascos and hardships; events or incidents that will embarrass him or cause him grief/shame. The kite
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