"MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys Questions and Answers
by Athol Fugard

"MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys book cover
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In "MASTER HAROLD"...and the Boys by Athol Fugard, what argument does Harold use to persuade his mother not to bring his father home?

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Harold argues that he will likely fail his exams if his mother brings his dad home from the hospital.  

Harold really does not want his father to come home, which seems odd at first.  But as the audience learns more about Harold and his father, the audience learns that Harold's father is a drunk, abusive parent.  He's also an amputee.  The fact that Harold's father is gone gives Harold some respite from his father's abusive behavior.  Harold is enjoying his night off.  About halfway through the play, Harold's mother calls from the hospital and tells Harold that she is bringing his dad home.  Harold pleads with his mother not to bring his dad home.  He says that he will likely fail his exams if his dad is brought home because he will not be able to study. Instead, he would have to massage his father's leg. 

"Well, then, don't blame me when I fail my exams at the end of the year . . . Yes! How am I expected to be fresh for school when I spend half the night massaging his gammy leg?"

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