Park Tea Room Essay

Master “Hally” Harold is the 17 twelvemonth old lead of Athol Fugard’s work. a white male child of South African descent. boy of his wise man Sam’s employer. Sam is one of two black servers employed by his family’s concern. the St. George’s Park Tea Room. The focal point of the drama is of the two men’s common educating of the other.

The younger of the two. Hally takes great pride in his “educating” Sam on book cognition. the things that he has learned in reading or the schoolroom. whereas the senior Sam spends his yearss educating Hally on the ways of life and the universe. demoing him how of import it is to take pride in oneself and the things that can be accomplished by your ain custodies. Hally has been caught in a dastardly place being a immature adult male urgently in hunt of his topographic point in this universe as he quickly approaches manhood. and being the lone boy of an immensely racialist rummy in the face of South African apartheid.

Hally has found himself stuck between the political orientations of his inadequate male parent and the instructions of his talented wise man. He battles himself for both loving and being ashamed of his white South African roots and alcoholic male parent. This drama is about the caustic power and denouncement of racism. ignorance and hatred in a society where those elements are all that environment you. Hally is a really bright immature chap torn by his implied social place and his truenesss to the adult male whom he feels has afforded him life’s greatest lessons. a black server who works for his male parent. Sam.

Hally is a anguished and anguished psyche ; even the rubric of the drama denotes the social place of these individuals-Hally is referred to as Master Harold. a 17 twelvemonth old male child while Sam and Willie are grown work forces referred to as male childs. The division between the races is clear. there is no “distortion of the political significance” ( Jordan pp. 461 ) of the scene in which this work takes topographic point. white is better than black and can in no socially important manner be mixed without sick respect.

The lone comfort to be found in the implicit in premiss of this work is the fact that Harold does non ab initio feed into the positions of his male parent and society. He. in the beginning sees what great things he can larn from these black African work forces and chooses to mistake on the opposing side of his father’s positions of race dealingss. It is non until Hally begins to experience at bay and cornered by his father’s impending release from the drunkard ward of the local infirmary that he slips into the standard political orientation of a white male happening his way during South African apartheid.

He turns on his wise man. tongues in his face and throws a entire fit because he has non learned how to cover with all the scrapings and cuts that can come of being a adult male in this universe. The debut of Hally’s rummy male parent back into the place is the unadulterated ground for his suddenly opprobrious and racist behaviour toward “the boys” . His implicit in fright is that he won’t be able to stand up for himself and his true beliefs if his male parent is present.

Deep down I don’t experience that Hally believes himself to be any greater or more of import than Sam or Willie but he is cognizant that society feels him to be superior to these two work forces and that he has yet to happen it within him to give his ain personal ideals a voice. He has spent all of his life under pes of one of the most racist work forces in South Africa. yet in the face of that socially and paternally enforced racism Hally has. for the most portion. allowed himself to stay open-minded to the gifts and apprehensions of others. recognizing that everyone has something to offer.

His father’s infirmary stay afforded Hally the clip he needed to reflect on his ain ideas to find what his mentality on this universe would be. He was able to populate without the weight of race long plenty to go comfy with himself as an person and the other persons environing him without respect to race or societal standing.

Bing the intelligent chap that he is. he realizes that his male parent coming place means a batch for the manner that he has been populating his life. he is necessarily traveling to hold to do some alterations ; he will either hold to alter the manner that he views the universe and get down to the full subscribing to his father’s manner of thought. or he will hold to happen his ain manhood and allow his male parent cognize how he truly feels. Hally is a clay chameleon being molded to suit whatever state of affairs he finds himself in ; he harbors an huge sum of disgust and contempt for his male parent and it is evident at every bend except when he is talking to his male parent.

When prosecuting with the patriarch of his household Hally appears loving. lovingness and compassionate. He does non let his hate for his father’s universe positions to be seen by the adult male who gave him life. alternatively he hunts for the implicit in love and regard that a boy should hold for his male parent as a adult male. and harnesses that love long plenty to prosecute in an empathic exchange. The fact that this immature adult male has named the rhythm of life the “principle of ageless disappointment” speaks volumes of his mentality on the day-to-day personal businesss of this universe.

He feels that holding his male parent nowadays in the place will merely perplex the lives of everyone else around without justification ; his male parent is merely an hindrance of unneeded worth. a hurdle to be overcome if Hally of all time desires to see himself happen true felicity. Equally far as Hally is concerned. where mention is made to life being a dance as discussed in the drama. it is his idea that no 1 knows the moves. no 1 adult male has all of the stairss in order because no 1 can to the full hear the music ; as such the voluntary world that these work forces discuss throughout the drama could ne’er be.

Merely the idea of his male parent coming place alterations Harold for the worse. Even in retrieving the dark that Sam strapped Harold’s male parent to his dorsum and carried him place from the saloon in the rain or the twenty-four hours that Sam took Harold under his wing and taught him non merely to ‘fly a kite’ literally but symbolically by distributing his wings as a adult male and larning to wing on his ain. The kite was simply a symbol to learn Harold how of import it is to happen his ain manner in this universe. non to follow his father’s head or anyone else’s other than his ain.

Yet where Sam felt that all these things made he and Harold closer. hammering a bond that could non be broken. Hally alternatively turns on Sam emphasizing that he no longer mention to him as Hally but as Master Harold. meaning the societal place and difference between the two. He does the one thing that Sam would hold ne’er expected him to make ; he takes the place of the superior being and reduces Sam to a “nigger” thereby bring downing upon his former wise man an irreversible lesion.

Hally took his chance to set Sam in his topographic point and allow him cognize that no affair what Sam has been to him or done for him and his household over the old ages that he is non immune to the underlying hatred that erodes the human scruples in cases such as the clip period in which this drama has been set. Sam tries to do clear the deductions of Harold’s actions and stresses the significance of what he has done to him. and their relationship. until the immature chap comes to his senses and admits the consequence that his love for his male parent has on him and his behaviours.

Hally is to the full dependent upon Sam for his apprehension of this universe because Hally can’t even understand himself. He lashes out at Sam because Sam is the closest individual to him and sometimes it’s merely easier to ache the 1s you love because you know better what will ache them than a alien. but I feel that another ground why he lashed out at Sam in such a manner was because beneath it all he knew that Sam could ever see his bosom and his true purposes.

Sam was able to spot and decode the complex feelings that Hally had for his male parent and the emotions provoked by the thought of his father’s return. I understand the waxy heads of young person but this immature adult male is 17 old ages old. it is clip for him to halt trusting on things like his relationship with Sam and to get down doing a manner for himself.

In a universe full of grownups you can’t merely move out whenever you want to floging out at those around you and ever anticipating people to be every bit forgiving as Sam was in this case because it is my idea that the fact of the affair is-Hally was let go ofing some pinned up ideas and emotions that he has been harbouring. waiting for the twenty-four hours that he could let go of that part of his father’s kernel which he holds within him. There is no uncertainty that the relationship antecedently held between the two has everlastingly been changed.

Because he is 17 old ages old the universe says that it is clip for this immature chap to go a adult male. but he is non ready. He’s still trusting upon others to state him what he thinks and how he truly feels. If he can’t manage the complexness of his ideas and emotions for his male parent how could he of all time hope to manage a life out in the universe on his ain. Harold knows that racism and hatred are incorrect. both a lose yarn gnawing the cloth of life. but that makes no difference to him. when put in a place of uncomfortableness he lashed out at Sam and Willie in the same mode that one would anticipate of a little kid.

In his article Boehmer makes it clear how frequently Fugard uses his chief character to convey about the realisation of conditions of discreteness by reflecting a visible radiation on the furnishings of historical strivings. that his inevitable disaffection has given representation to ordinary lives and non needfully alone and hence ‘dramatic’ situations” ( Boehmer pp. 165 ) . That is the point which commands accent in our analysis because there is nil peculiarly particular or important about the scene of this drama other than the background of the apartheid epoch.

Without cognition of this narrative holding taken topographic point during the apartheid epoch these events could hold taken topographic point in any portion of the universe at any clip throughout history. ‘Master Harold’ was no particular instance ; he was a 17 twelvemonth old male child like any other 17 twelvemonth old male child enthralled in the determination to either follow in his male parents footsteps or to step his ain way. Cummingss piece says that Fugards’ work “dramatizes the racial state of affairs in South Africa” ( Cummings pg.

2 ) . this is true in so far as Fugard has taken the apartheid battle and turned it into a dramatic work. as have many other creative persons. but non in such a manner as for the ideas or thoughts of the characters within the drama to hold been overdone because merely like I said. Hally was no particular instance. There was no demand of hyperbole because we see immature work forces like Hally everyday. unsure of themselves or their topographic point in this universe. worried that if they make a determination for their life that it may be the incorrect one so they choose to sit lazily in their comfort zone excessively afraid to venture into any unfamiliar district.

For Hally it would hold been widely unfamiliar for him to stand up to his male parent and state. ‘thank you father. for giving me life. but my ideas of this universe should be formed of my ain will. non handed down from coevals to generation’ and it is until merely such immature work forces can make that really thing that the older ideals of racism and hatred will get down to waver.

Cummingss is right about one thing though. the simpleness of the scene does mostly belie the complexness of the characters ( Cummings pg. 2 ) but I think that it must be understood that if the scene and characters would otherwise be in changeless competition with each other and no 1 would be able to follow the drama. The characters are what carry the work. If Hally had no minutiae to put his character apart and was merely another 17 twelvemonth old lead. there would be nil polar to keep this drama together.

All the small inside informations are what make these characters so profound and the work of such high quality ; it would be a hurt to the production if anyone was to of all time fiddle with the expression.


Fugard. Athol. “Master Harold … and the Boys” . New York: Penguin Plays ( 1982 ) . Boehmer. Elleke. “Review: Speaking from the Periphery” . Third World Quarterly. Vol. 11. No. 1 ( Jan. . 1989 ) . pp. 161-166. Cummingss. Mark. “Reclaiming the Canon: A World Without Collisions: “ “Master Harold”…and the Boys” in the Classroom” .

The English Journal. Vol. 78. No. 6 ( Oct. . 1989 ) . pp. 71-73. Jordan. John O. “Life in the Theatre: Autobiography. Politics. and Romance in “Master Harold”…and the Boys” . Twentieth Century Literature. Vol. 39. No. 4. Athol Fugard Issue ( Winter. 1993 ) . pp. 461-472. Solomon. Alisa. “Review: [ untitled ] -Reviewed work ( s ) : …Master Harold…and the Boys by Athol Fugard” . Performing Arts Journal. Vol. 7. No. 1 ( 1983 ) . pp. 78-83.

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