What examples in the text show that Hally and Sam's relationship is unstable in "Master Harold". . .and the Boys?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Master Harold". . .and the Boys, the most forceful symbol of the instability in Hally and Sam's relationship is the moment when Hally spits in Sam's face.  This moment illustrates the racial privilege that Hally realizes he has over Sam.  When Hally was a young boy, he didn't appear to be aware of the racial separation required by law.  Hally frequently went to Sam and Willie's room to hide from his mother.  Sam acted as a father figure to Hally when Hally's own father was too ill, too drunk, or too mean to serve as an appropriate role model.  As Hally got older, the stable relationship between him and Sam slowly became shakier as Hally learned about his own privilege as a white person in South Africa.  In earlier parts of the play, Hally tells Sam and Willie that they need to stop fooling around and get back to work, which signifies the current instability in the relationship.  Hally is not the men's employer--he's just a seventeen-year-old kid who feels like he can boss the men around.  So, these are moments that suggest the instability in the relationship between Sam and Hally.

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"MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys

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