Master Harold and the Boys

473 Words2 Pages
Horrified eyes watch as bursts of angry and hurtful words erupt from the mouth of a confused soul. Within one afternoon, the laborious work to rescue Hally from the threatening hands of society that Sam Semela and Willie Malopo had slaved to accomplish seemed to go to waste. In “Master Harold”and the Boys by Athol Fugard, a lost nineteen year old justifies the quote “if you let society dictate your beliefs, then you will lose your soul”. Set in a time and society of racism and apartheid, where ignorance divides brothers and individuals lose their uniqueness, Hally exemplifies how powerful the mindset of society can be in the destruction of qualities that make up an individual. Sam and Hally are amazingly close and share a history of a strong bond. The many activities they take part in together, from the homemade kite to their intellectual debates about school, show that they are like father and son. However, due to the mindset of society, this bond is severed very badly. Hally begins to fall into the vortex of racism and soon begins to demand “a little lesson in respect, that’s long overdue” (55) from Sam. He orders Sam to address him as Master Harold and ridicules him on the basis of his skin color. Hally mocks Sam about his “nigger’s arse” and even spits in Sam’s face. This is an extreme blow to Sam, a surrogate father who simply wants the best for Hally. However, Sam continues to try to salvage Hally’s lost soul. He knows that Hally is continuously hurt by his father, an alcoholic and cripple. Hally’s father orders him by degrading acts like dumping out his “stinking chamberpots full of phlegm and piss” (48) and massaging his bad leg. However, Hally, like any son, desires love from his true father. After some time, Hally becomes overwhelmed by the pain and tries to please his father in the most destructive way. He begins to fall into his father’s mindset, one

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