The Road to Mecca Questions and Answers

The Road to Mecca

Elsa is an interesting kind of character that fulfills several "character type" definitions, including dynamic, main, round and confidante. Elsa is a dynamic character because she undergoes...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 1:06 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

While Athol Fugard's play My Children! My Africa! more overtly concerns apartheid than his play The Road to Mecca, both very clearly concern the theme of being crushed by an oppressive social...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2016 3:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

South African writer Athol Fugard’s play The Road to Mecca focuses on the protagonist Miss Helen, an elderly widow living in New Bethesda in 1974. Miss Helen is known by townspeople for her...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2016 8:54 pm UTC

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The Road to Mecca

Helen's private Mecca symbolizes the light in the darkness of her lonely and isolated soul; it is the creative expression which gives life to her spirit. Mecca, of course, is the birthplace of...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2015 4:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Beyond a spiritual journey, Helen's image of Mecca in Athol Fugard's play The Road to Mecca symbolizes Helen's freedom, freedom from the oppression she experienced growing up in a heavily religious...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2016 7:35 am UTC

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The Road to Mecca

Oppression, which means unjust treatment, can operate in many ways. For example, societal oppression can impact entire groups, and specific individuals within those groups can be individually...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2019 4:07 am UTC

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The Road to Mecca

You can analyze the journeys of the three women by looking for visual indicators in the setting; for language indicators of change, motivation, progress or secrets; and for emotional or...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2016 11:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

Since the first commenter did such a beautiful job of addressing the first part of your question, I will address the last part. A round character is a complex character, one that cannot easily be...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2018 1:14 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

In Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca, the three female characters experience oppression from those living in New Bethesada and in Cape Town, South Africa. This oppression is religious, social,...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2017 9:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

There is a little conflict of religion in "The Road to Mecca" depending on your own faith opinions or depending on which character that you side with in the story. For Pastor Marius, there is...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2015 1:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

When Helen's husband died, fifteen years before the start of the play, she was given a new lease on life. Liberated from a loveless marriage, she became newly inspired by a vision of an owl, and...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2018 1:24 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

Athol Fugard’s play explores the close friendship and love between Elsa and Miss Helen. The question of trust is paramount as Elsa tries to support the older woman’s decision and, if that cannot be...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2020 4:56 am UTC

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The Road to Mecca

Through Katrina, Fugard demonstrates women oppression in the form of lack of freedom of choice. Katrina, Helen’s maid, is a teenager married to an abusive husband called Koos. Despite his habitual...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2018 10:23 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

Certainly Elsa has gone on—is still on—an emotional journey of her own, and this kind of figurative journey can be just as, if not more, difficult than a physical one. In Act One, she describes how...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2018 1:38 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

The symbolism behind the cement sculptures Helen makes and arranges in her yard, such as the Wise Men upon camels, owls, other birds, and mermaids, largely connects to the social and political...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2015 4:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Let's do Marius first. His faith and spirituality are Judeo-Christian. He believes that there is one way to achieve salvation and everlasting life: by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2015 11:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

The Road to Mecca is a play by South African playwright Athol Fugard. It focuses on the late stages of Miss Helen's life. She lives in a Christian community that she finds stifling and oppressive....

Latest answer posted March 24, 2020 9:25 pm UTC

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The Road to Mecca

Fugard shows that the real artist who requires freedom to create can quickly become alienated from society. After the death of her husband, Helen responds to the inspiration she feels to make her...

Latest answer posted August 13, 2018 1:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

When Miss Helen's husband died fifteen years prior to the start of the play, instead of adopting the role of the "meek, churchgoing little widow" that everyone in town expected, she chose to stop...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2018 12:24 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

The figures of speech in Athol Fugard’s play will be the moments when the stage direction and/or dialogue isn’t supposed to be read literally. The play starts with Elsa arriving at Helen’s house....

Latest answer posted August 25, 2021 6:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

In the play The Road to Mecca, playwright Athol Fugard reveals that Elsa had an abortion because she got involved in a relationship with a married man and severed the relationship.In Act 2, Elsa...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2015 3:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

For Helen, the Mecca that she has built in her yard and within her home symbolizes freedom. When she was married to her husband, Stefanus, she felt that "it was all a terrible, terrible lie." She...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2018 5:44 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

For Helen, Mecca is a place created by her inspiration and her imagination. It is a place in which she finds spiritual fulfillment after she is liberated from a more traditional church—as a result...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2018 12:51 am UTC

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The Road to Mecca

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...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2020 12:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

After Helen's husband dies unexpectedly, her church community seems to expect her to play the role of the pious little widow who goes to church, mourns her husband, and does not do much else....

Latest answer posted April 15, 2018 7:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

Marius's spirituality is a standard Judeo Christian spirituality with Calvinistic emphases. He sees people as fallen, sinful, and in the dark. For Marius (and most of the townspeople), salvation...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2015 6:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Miss Helen's "Mecca" symbolizes what it is that inspires her and her own independence. She began to create her Mecca when her husband died, some fifteen years prior to the start of the play, when...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2018 3:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

Choosing a single main theme for this play is difficult. Themes resonate differently with various readers, so it is probably better to explore multiple themes that are central to the play....

Latest answer posted November 22, 2019 4:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Helen's feelings of despair likely originate with her husband's death that happened 15 years prior to events in the play. The play hints that Miss Helen had a falling away from the church after her...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2019 8:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Elsa thinks of herself as a "serious young woman" who most people think is not very fun, and yet she is able to be silly and let down her guard with Helen. Clearly, Elsa trusts Helen, perhaps...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2020 2:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Helen tells Elsa, "My Mecca has got a logic of its own. . . . Even I don't properly understand it." The reason Helen can create the animals and people she has sculpted and still not quite...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2018 8:22 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

I don't think that Elsa outright dismisses faith and spirituality. I think she doesn't support the traditional Judeo-Christian view of faith and spirituality. Pastor Marius represents that belief...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

One day, while traveling along a dusty, deserted road, Elsa passes a black woman with a baby on her back. The woman, called Patience, has been dispossessed, banished from the farm where her late...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2019 8:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Your question isn't very specific, but I am going to assume that your literature essay needs to be about "The Road to Mecca." For any literature essay, I strongly recommend that you NOT write a...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2015 12:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Elsa's an enlightened, free spirited woman. As a teacher of black children in apartheid-era South Africa, she has an in-depth understanding of the horrors of racial oppression. With this...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019 9:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Pastor Marius is a pastor in what would be considered the standard Judeo-Christian tradition. For him, spirituality is centered on a belief that Christ died on the cross in order to take...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2015 1:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

In addition to still mourning the death of her husband, Helen is despairing over the fact that she may have to move out of the house she's lived in for so many years and move into a church-run...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2019 8:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

Helen's husband died when she was fifty years old. After his death, she developed a weird obsession with art. She began creating sculptures and putting them in her garden. The art gave her...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2018 6:59 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Road to Mecca

Helen's despair is related to the fact that she's coming towards the end of her productive life and yet is unable to let go. She's built her own little Mecca in the home in which she's lived for so...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2019 5:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

I believe that Marius thinks he is offering the best advice he can to Miss Helen. He does seem sincere, and so I think he truly does mean to help her, but he does not realize that he is actually...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2019 3:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Road to Mecca

The female characters in The Road to Mecca exhibit little hope for a fulfilling future life. Miss Helen is elderly and fears that her creativity is slipping away; the fulfillment that art brings...

Latest answer posted July 6, 2019 6:10 am UTC

1 educator answer