Master Harold... And the Boys

Power and Privilege in Master Harold and the Boys 12th Grade

In “Master Harold”… and the Boys, black Africans are treated as though they are not as important as the white Africans. Fugard represents black Africans as people who have been disenfranchised, segregated, and less privileged in an attempt to show the struggles involved with apartheid. Fugard does this through the symbolism of the bench and the ballroom dancing as well as through the conflicts between characters.

In the beginning of “Master Harold”...and the Boys, Sam is trying to teach Willie how to dance. Ballroom dancing symbolizes a world without conflict. Sam says, “it’s beautiful because that is what we want life to be like. But instead like you said Hally, we’re bumping into each other all the time” (Fugard 46). Sam believes that apartheid is the result of people bumping into each other, which leads him to say that ballroom dancing, is like a world without collisions; when two people dance, they do not bump into each other, but simply dance. Because Sam is dreaming of a world without the collisions, which in this case refers to apartheid, it suggests that Sam has had a hard time as a result of apartheid.

Sam’s dream not only suggests how Sam feels about apartheid, but also causes conflict between Sam and Hally, as Hally...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1126 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8645 literature essays, 2331 sample college application essays, 378 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in