The Road to Mecca

by Athol Fugard
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How do Helen and Marius show their trust, love, and friendship to one another in The Road to Mecca? Elaborate using quotes.

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Marius shows his friendship to Helen in a few ways. First, he brings her some potatoes and vegetables from his garden, insisting that it "wasn't any bother at all." He insists that they "need fresh vegetables" at their age and admonishes her for her imbalanced diet of cookies and tea....

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Marius shows his friendship to Helen in a few ways. First, he brings her some potatoes and vegetables from his garden, insisting that it "wasn't any bother at all." He insists that they "need fresh vegetables" at their age and admonishes her for her imbalanced diet of cookies and tea. While this might look like nagging, I do think it shows that Marius cares about her. Helen's acceptance of his admonitions shows that she understands their intent.

Marius also tries to take Helen's side when Elsa speaks in a way he dislikes, saying, "It is my world—and Helen's—and we can't expect an outsider to love or understand it as we do." He cares deeply for Helen, clearly, and he doesn't want her to feel badly about the way Elsa views her home, the place that Marius has also made his home. Marius does not feel that Helen is safe living on her own anymore, because she accidentally started a fire in her home when she knocked over a candle four weeks ago. He tries to explain to Elsa that "Helen is [his concern], and [his] concern is that she gets a chance to live out what is left of her life safely and happily as is humanly possible." This shows real love for her, I think.

Ultimately, Helen feels badly about disappointing Marius when she explains her need to create and her need to be independent, and she assures him that "it wasn't intentional." Helen accepts his claim that "There is more light in [her] than in all [her] candles put together." Elsa realizes that Marius is in love with Helen, and Helen's kindness to Marius, despite his lack of understanding regarding her need for freedom, shows that she also values and cares for him.

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