A seventeen-year old white boy living in South Africa during apartheid. Hally is the son of the proprietors of St. George's Park Tea Room. Hally is smart but apathetic, prone to laziness and bouts of anger. He is also stubborn and cynical. He struggles with the shame of his father's alcoholism, racism, and physical disability, and finds his mother's weakness to be annoying. He has always found comfort with Sam and Willie but the pervasive racism of apartheid-era society creates a barrier between them by the end of the play.
Sam is a middle-aged black man who works at St. George's Park. He has worked for Hally's family for years, and is educated, smart, and patient. He has a deep friendship with Willie and is like a father figure to Hally. He is understanding but he also has a breaking point. Race complicates Sam's relationship with Hally, and by the end of the play, he experiences profound disillusionment with the petulant teenager.
Willie is a middle-aged black man who works at St. George's with Sam. Willie is friendly and not as well-read as Sam. He is sweet most of the time but has a quick temper. He has a tempestuous relationship with Hilda, his lover and the mother of his children. Hilda and Willie are practicing to dance in the ballroom competition together, which Willie is very dedicated to although he has difficulty with the steps.
Never seen onstage. Willie's lover and the mother of his children; they have a tempestuous relationship. She is supposed to be doing the ballroom competition with him, but is mad at him for beating her.
Hally's mother is the proprietor of St. George's Park Tea Room but never appears onstage. She is weak-willed and does not stand up to her alcoholic, violent husband. She is also racist, instructing Hally not to spend too much time with the servants.
Hally's father is disabled and in the hospital throughout the duration of the play. He is an alcoholic, a bully, and is deeply racist. Hally does not respect his father and they do not have a good relationship. Hally's father comes is an example of white patriarchy at its worst. Fugard has openly said that Hally's father in "Master Harold"... and the boys is based on his own father.
Master Harold… And the Boys Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Master Harold… And the Boys is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Of the three characters, Willie changes the most. After observing the altercation between Sam and Hally, he realizes that he has been mistreating Hilda and should change his behavior. This is a clear reversal of his earlier, stubborn statements...