"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, what feelings does Hally experience in the second telephone conversation?  Are these feelings justified?

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In Fugard's "MASTER HAROLD". . .and the boys, Hally experiences a sense of helplessness and rage at his parents. When his father gets on the telephone, Hally lies and tells him that he is glad that his father is coming home and pretends to be glad at the chance to see him soon. However, when his mother takes the telephone, Hally expresses his sense of rage at having to again take care of his father. Hally has been trying to please his father, but it is clear that Hally does not support his father's habits or his ideologies. Hally's father has told him that Hally allows Sam and Willie to get away with too much at the shop, and Hally cannot reconcile his love for Sam with his desire to please his father. Hally's feelings are justified in that his father seems to have been a burden on the family for quite a while. Sam reminds Hally of the time when he had to carry Hally's father home because he was too drunk to walk on his own. Sam has been more of a father to Hally, so the racism that Hally's father exhibits makes Hally angry towards him. This sense of helplessness and rage is evident in the tone of Hally's words when speaking with his mother.

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