The Road to Mecca

by Athol Fugard

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What quote from The Road to Mecca relates to friendship, trust, or love?

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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. To deal with these feelings and the death of her late husband, Miss Helen begins creating art in her sculpture garden. Only, the work that she's doing doesn't jive with her community's conservative values.

Much of the story focuses on the value Miss Helen gets out of artistic expression by creating The Mecca and how those actions isolate her from her community. However, not everyone thinks Miss Helen is crazy. Elsa is one of the few people who support Miss Helen in her work. The two develop a strong trust over the course of the play. One telling quote from the story is when Miss Helen tells Elsa,

The only reason I've got for being alive is my Mecca. Without that I'm nothing... a useless old woman getting on everybody's nerves... and that is exactly what I have started to feel like.

This quote shows trust because it demonstrates that Miss Helen is comfortable enough with Elsa to be vulnerable with her. Similarly, the quote demonstrates the friendship and love that the two women have built for one another throughout the play. This is made clear by the juxtaposition between how Miss Helen acts towards the rest of the community and how she acts towards Elsa. With Elsa, she is free to express her truth. With the community, Miss Helen feels the need to isolate and withdraw herself to avoid judgment and condemnation.

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