In Athol Fugard's play The Road to Mecca, Helen Martins does not physically travel to the geographical city of Mecca. Discuss what the image of Helen's Mecca symbolises for Helen.

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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The image of her Mecca symbolized her opportunity to continue her life without her husband and the ability to fill the void that had been with her throughout her life. She filled up her house with light, art and cement sculptures in her garden in an attempt to create her Mecca. Helen understood that she was unable to effectively take care of herself but at the same time she did not want to go to a home for the aged. According to her, by refusing to go to the home she was in turn holding on to her creativity and life. Her Mecca also symbolized her desire for freedom, light and the need to sustain her faculties. These were the reasons she gave to the pastor who felt that Helen had alienated herself from her previous Christian values.

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