Comment on the contrast between Sam and Hally's relationship in "Master Harold". . .and the boys, namely Hally's terrible betrayal of Sam at the climax of the play.

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The contrast in the relationship between Sam and Hally near the end of the play occurs primarily because Hally is not mature enough to understand his role in the sociopolitical landscape of 1950 South Africa.  Sam has told Hally that life should be like a perfectly choreographed dance--an ideal that everyone must work towards.  But Hally does not understand that he has a great role in choreographing this "dance."  When he was a little boy, he did not understand that Sam could not stay to watch him fly the kite because he could not sit on the "Whites Only" bench.  But now as a young man, Hally can make a choice whether or not to follow the practices of apartheid because he understands the implications of sitting or walking away.  But Hally is still immature, and he longs for the love and respect of his father.  As a result, he shuns Sam who has been more of a father to him all his life than his actual father has been.  Instead of trying to understand and accept this fact, Hally lashes out against Sam--he hides behind his whiteness and the power that it affords him, causing a rift in his relationship with Sam.

Further Reading:
Read the study guide:
"MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys

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