- Taschenbuch: 64 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin (Non-Classics); Auflage: Reprint (6. November 1984)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0140481877
- ISBN-13: 978-0140481877
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,5 x 0,5 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.108.840 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Master Harold . . . And The Boys (Plays, Penguin) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. November 1984
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An argument between Master Harold, a seventeen-year-old South African, and Sam, the Black man employed at Harold's mother's restaurant, makes them reevaluate their friendship.
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Willie, the custodian, who also looks to Sam for guidance, plans to participate, along with Sam, in a ballroom dancing competition in two weeks. For them, dancing "is beautiful because that is what we want life [in South Africa] to be like." In real life, however, "none of us knows the steps...we're bumping into each other all the time." As the play progresses, the three men reminisce, talk about their ideas of what constitutes a great hero, and show their easy relationship with each other.
A phone call announcing that Hally's father is being released from the hospital upsets the equilibrium, however. Hally, morose and worried about the future, fears that his father will once again destroy his world. Taking out his anger on Sam and Willie, he tears at their dreams regarding the dancing contest, mocking their goals and becoming cynical about what the contest means to them. As his frustration grows, Hally hurts them as he has been hurt by his father, demanding ultimately that both men call him "Master Harold."
Based on an incident in the life of the playwright, who was strongly opposed to the policies of apartheid which began in South Africa around 1948, this powerful and poignant drama casts Sam, a black man, as a person of vision and nobility. Hally, a young white man, chooses to exert power, instead of being human, and shows that he is a lesser man than either Sam or Willie. Less a political drama than a human one, the play rises above its immediate setting to consider universal feelings and human relationships. Mary Whipple
Much of the play's effectiveness owes to its portrayal of the subtleties of racism. It is clear that Hally views himself as an enlightened person; he espouses lofty ideals, tutors Sam in geography, and prides himself on the taboo friendship he had with the two black men as a child. When Sam finally gets him to take an interest in his passion of ballroom dancing, Hally seems to congratulate himself for finding some value in what he calls "the release of primitive emotions through movement" in a "primitive black society." Yet in his smugness, Hally is oblivious to what's really going on. For all his talk of the need for "progress," he is unwilling to take personal responsibility for it, resigning himself instead to waiting for the next great social reformer to come along. He is condescending toward Sam and fails to realize he has anything to learn from the older man. However, the young man's ignorance comes through most poignantly when the two recall an incident during Hally's childhood where Sam took him to fly a homemade kite. We learn later that because of Hally's obliviousness toward Sam--and toward the sting of racism--his recollection of the event is missing a painful, essential truth that changes the story completely.
MASTER HAROLD does leave the reader with a glimmer of hope, embodied by the dignity and compassion Sam maintains even when abandoning these virtues would be more than understandable. But the play also shows how formidable are the psychological obstacles standing in the way of change, and the degree to which racism causes suffering on both sides. Once the truly ugly side of Hally's view of Sam comes out, he becomes committed to it. Further, it's not just between Sam and Hally--Hally is burdened by the failings of the previous generation, and beneath his arrogance is a deep shame about his crippled, pitiful alcoholic father. In the end, one cannot help but feel for Hally, because of the damage his racism has done to the most important relationship he has.
The dialogue in MASTER HAROLD is very real, yet it's also fraught with layers of meaning. That this play imbues a single sixty-page scene with so much significance, complexity, and wrenching emotion is a real testament to Fugard's masterful writing.
- Themes aplenty- race, father figures, intellect, age, art...
- And the symbolism- kites, ballroom dancing, comic books...
- Characters- so well-developed for a play that spans the course of just one afternoon
- The dialogue is so rich and powerful- the climax of the play is incredibly moving and insanely well-written
- Much can be done with historical and social context
Definitely a good read- would be a great airplane read- short, but deep (unless you're sitting next to a noisy child or a loud snorer).
The play shows this white boy, for no apparent reason, turning from gentle and calm to angry and frustrated.
Note how the crippled father shows how his point of view is crippled, showing how racist he is.
Athol Fugard is a very talented writer and makes this short 1hour by yourself or 2hour oral reading in class a remarquable one.
All plays should be as provoative as this one but sadly they aren't, and I strongly recommend buying this little gem, as light as a feather, that you'll be rereading a lot.