The Road to Mecca

by Athol Fugard
Start Free Trial

Discuss the themes of trust, love and friendship as experienced by the characters in The Road to Mecca.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Athol Fugard’s play explores the close friendship and love between Elsa and Miss Helen. The question of trust is paramount as Elsa tries to support the older woman’s decision and, if that cannot be accomplished, ease transition from her own home to a senior living facility.

The other side...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Athol Fugard’s play explores the close friendship and love between Elsa and Miss Helen. The question of trust is paramount as Elsa tries to support the older woman’s decision and, if that cannot be accomplished, ease transition from her own home to a senior living facility.

The other side of trust is conveyed by the pastor, Marius, who believes he has Helen’s best interests at heart but does not take her seriously. He believes he is asking her to trust his judgment but fails to see that he is actually trying to impose his own, narrowly defined standards.

A lack of trust is also connected with pain in love through Elsa’s doomed relationship with a married man, which resulted in her terminating a pregnancy.

Love also can be found in Helen’s relationship with her own creations, which indicates an overall positive type of self-love that began to blossom after her husband passed away. Helen has not only being living on her own but has become isolated from society because her neighbors view her as eccentric or even mentally unbalanced. Over the years, Helen has filled her garden with the sculptures she makes, so that now her house is completely surrounded. Her dedication to this work is one of the main reasons she does not want to move. She worries what will become of the Mecca garden once she leaves. Helen realizes that she cannot trust anyone in the community to care for her creations.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team