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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hally Fugard, the seventeen-year-old son in the story, has been raised in the midst of apartheid South Africa. He's been taught that nonwhites are inferior. The two black men in his life, however, pose a conflict for Hally because they don't fit the racist beliefs Hally has been taught. One of them, Sam, has been a surrogate father to him, having to be there when his alcoholic father wasn't. Many times, we lash out at those we love the most because we figure they will be more likely to forgive us, and they understand why we're angry and afraid. This is what happens with Hally and Sam. Hally's father is coming home from rehab, and Hally is confused and conflicted about his feelings for his father. On one hand, he loves him, but on the other hand, he's ashamed of his father for the many times he's embarrassed Hally and mistreated him. Hally turns into a bitter child who turns on Sam. He spits in Sam's face, and Sam goes after Hally to hit him. Willie stops Sam from hitting Hally, and sums up the scene when he says, "Is bad. Is all bad in here now."

taangerine | Student

In the play, Fugard demonstrated racism when Hally asked Sam to call him Master Harold. And, when Hally was frustrated with Sam, he spit on him. Furthermore, another example that signified racism was when Hally was a literate person, while Sam was not -- Hally gave Sam 'mini-lessons' throughout their lifetime living together about where some countries were on the map, who invented/wrote this, etc. 

spidervol | Student

Hally knows that focusing his essay on the local ballroom dancing competition will anger his teacher.  That seems to suggest an overall racist atmosphere at his school (& society).

viban | Student

Racism is manifested when hally asks sam and wille to call him master. also when hally spit on sam

raniewater84 | Student

This is just a response to the previous answer, Hally\'s father may have been an alcoholic but he was not coming home from rehab he was in a hospital for illness, he was also a cripple. on page 33 of the play when Hally is on the phone with his mother he mentions telling his mother to lie to his father and tell him they need more exrays inorder to keep him in the hospital longer. Hally also tells his mother that his father will not get the medical attention he needs at home. He also mentions how his father was in pain the evening before and how Hally does not want to have to rub his fathers nub of a leg. I wish I knew what school bmadnick works at I will be sure to keep my children far away from it since he lacks attenion to detail. I hope he doesn\'t teach english

Read the study guide:
"MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys

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