Laura Leaney's Reviews > "Master Harold"...and the boys

"Master Harold"...and the boys by Athol Fugard
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

really liked it

This is a powerful play about the damage of apartheid and the corrosive nature of shame. There is no "action" per se, all the dialogue takes place in one setting, the St. George's Park Tea Room, and is spoken by only three characters - two adult black men (Sam and Willie) who work at the tea room and the white seventeen-year-old son of the owner (Hally/Master Harold). It's 1950, and the relationship between the boy and the two men is impressively complicated. They, especially Sam, are the fathers he grew up with but also the "boys" of the play. Hally's own father is a cripple and a drunk, but Hally ends up directing all his anger onto Sam by the end of the play, changing forever the nature of their bond. He is an awful boy, lacking in compassion but deserving ours because we understand what has perverted his heart. What a sorrowful drama.
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Reading Progress

August 9, 2011 – Started Reading
August 9, 2011 – Shelved
August 10, 2011 – Finished Reading

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