Discussion Topic

The significance and revelation of Veronica's dreams in "Valley Song."

Summary:

Veronica's dreams in "Valley Song" signify her aspiration for a better future and her desire to escape the limitations of her rural life. They reveal her determination to pursue her passion for singing despite obstacles, highlighting themes of hope and ambition in the play.

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What is the significance of Veronica's big dreams in Valley Song?

Veronica thinks that there is a difference between dreaming big, and dreaming big and working hard. Anyone can dream big, but working hard is the difficult part. Athough Veronica knows that the road to her dream of being a singer is going to be difficult, and that leaving her grandfather will be so also, she does it, because she wants to work hard for her dream. I don't know how Veronica being serious about her dream is going to influence you, but for me, it could give me the resolve to think that maybe i could dream big as well, and causes me to think about what dream i have that i would willingly work that hard for.

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What is the significance of Veronica's big dreams in "Valley Song", despite her limitations?

I think that the characterization of Veronica as stupid because of her failure to accept limitations and circumstances is myopic, at best.  Consider that if Veronica does not pursue her dreams, then the cycle of enslavement and oppression continues even when Apartheid has been dissolved.  The entire reason why Veronica must "dream big" is because the context of the play is one in which South Africa has eliminated Aparheid.  In its abolition, Black South Africans have new opportunities to define their own reality without having it done for them.  Veronica has to "dream big" because she now has the opportunity to do so.  Failure to do so would move her closer to "stupid" because she would not be pursuing her dreams even with the chance to do so.  For an artist who has spent his life in trying to eradicate Apartheid, Fugard recognizes the importance of the moment, what Dr. King would call "the fierce urgency of now."  Veronica has to seize this moment to indicate that South Africa can change.  While she loves her grandfather, it is precisely for this reason that both hold different value systems.  His is one where the pain and weight of the past defines his present and the future.  Veronica is one in which the hope and optimism of the future is what defines her present.  She must "dream big" in order to realize this, and put aside the limitations and circumstances because, in the end, these can be transcended with her faith and certainty in her dreams.

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What is the significance of Veronica's dream in Valley Song?

Veronica's dream holds significance on both political and personal levels.  In terms of the latter, Veronica represents a desire to break with the ghosts of the past and move towards an unknown future, but do so with a sense of optimism and hope.  Veronica recognizes that there are barriers upon her in terms of her mother's demise at the hands of dreams and the despair that her grandfather has had to make peace with as an elderly Black man in an apartheid South Africa.  Veronica understands her own condition as one of not being wealthy and being armed only with a passion for song.  Yet, this is enough for her and what animates her.  The significance of Veronica's dream on a personal level shows the affirmation of the subjective and the need to adhere to it regardless of external reality.  The calling of the subjective is compelling in Veronica and in honoring it, there is a recognition of the redemption that exists in the subjectivity of one's dreams and passions. 

From a political point of view, Veronica represents the hope for a new South Africa.  Emerging from the ashes of apartheid, which did more to kill the dreams of so many, Veronica represents the vanguard of a new generation of young people who are willing to embrace the promise of the future without being weighed from the pain of the past.  If there is any hope in the post- Apartheid South Africa, Fugard makes it clear that it will come from the Veronicas of the nation.  White society will have to recognize the fundamental changing paradigm that Black South Africans are embracing.  Between both, Fugard suggests that there is hope for South Africa.  When Veronica sees The Author for the last time before her leaving, he acknowledges this in speaking to her when he says, "The future belongs to you now.’’   Coming from Fugard's words and Fugard himself, this represents how Veronica's dreams of unlimited opportunity and hope for participating in the dream that is the new South Africa.  In a world of uncertainty, the political significance of Veronica's dreams represents how faith in oneself and one's abilities as well as listening to the passions within the subjective in the hopes of making the world better is where hope lies regardless of context.

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In Valley Song, what is Veronica's dream, and how is it revealed throughout the play?

In Athol Fugard’s play, the characters of the Author and Veronica have different personal dreams, but in many ways, they share the same vision for their country and society. Because Veronica is much younger, she has no memory of the many years of segregation that were official policy in their country. One positive side of her being young and not having those personal memories is that she is intensely optimistic about having a bright, unrestricted future.

When the audience first meets Veronica, she is bringing lunch to her Oupa, or grandfather. His name is Abraam Jonkers, but people call him Old Buks. While he is concerned about the fate of his farm, she feels constrained by rural life. In some ways, her dream is an abstraction of what life should contain: as she says, “‘Adventure and Romance!’”

Specific components of her vision are revealed both by her statements and her behavior. She dreams of becoming a famous singer. Although the family is poor, this is not necessary impossible, the playwright conveys, because she has a beautiful voice. She is also a talented songwriter. All this is conveyed when she sings a song she wrote about the Railway Bus that will take her to the city and other unknown places.

Another place where Veronica’s dream is developed is in her conversation with the Author, who surprises her while she is pretending to sing onstage. They converse about her aspirations to achieve fame as performer. While the Author is cautious, Veronica shows her commitment as she distinguishes between impossible dreams and the proper dreams that can be achieved through persistence and faith.

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In Valley Song, what is Veronica's dream, and how is it revealed throughout the play?

The lines and characters in question are from Athol Fugard’s play Valley Song, which was his first written after the end of apartheid in South Africa and election of Nelson Mandela as its president. While we can’t write your essay for you, we can make sure that you understand the play’s context, purpose, and main ideas.

We know from when we first meet Veronica and she complains to her grandfather Buks that the village lacks “romance and adventure”; her mind is on grander things than singing in the church choir. We also know that her mother had run away to the city with Veronica’s father when she was about the same age as Veronica and died a year later giving birth to Veronica. Buks naturally fears the worst for Veronica and doesn’t want her to leave him, which sets the dramatic stakes of Veronica following her dreams early on and foreshadows the inevitable conflict of her needing to choose between them and her grandfather.

The Author has been challenging Veronica about the notion of dreaming too big, advising her that she ought to reconsider her daring hopes for a life more practical and predictable, but Veronica defends her commitment to her dreams and can’t be deterred. As Veronica is leaving, the Author tells her that he had only been testing her to see if she was truly ready for the sacrifice, and that as someone who understands the need to submit to one’s higher calling.

This is Fugard’s message with the play, that a new generation of South African artists and dreamers must take over for the previous and remake the country for the better.

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