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

"MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys book cover
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What was the twist in the tale?

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This question could be referring to a couple parts of this fantastic piece of drama. The first "twist" could be when audiences first see some of Hally's true colors. This occurs after Hally's mother calls and tells him that she will be bringing his father home. Up until this point in the play, audiences have seen a cheerful Hally that is capable of bantering with Sam as well as engaging in deep conversations about great men in history. Hally is clearly a delight to be around and very intelligent; however, audiences see a much angrier side of Hally after the phone call. We are beginning to see the twist that shows that his relationship with Sam is much more father-and-son than we once thought, because the relationship with his actual father is near nonexistent.

Hally's anger continues to grow and grow until the story twists into its shocking climax, when Hally becomes the one thing that we least expect. He becomes a racist, entitled brat that not only insults Sam but spits in his face and makes racially derogatory comments as well. We can see that a once-healthy relationship is on the brink of ending, and Sam tries desperately to save it. Sam even warns Hally that the relationship is close to being entirely over. Unfortunately, Hally is simply too immature to fix what he has now broken.

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