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Master Harrold and the Boys Essay

“Master Harold “…and the Boys is a play that takes place inside the St. George’s Park Tea Room on a wet and windy Port Elizabeth afternoon in 1950. There is no customers in the restaurant the place is quiet with only the two native waiters known as Willie and Sam in the restaurant. After a while Hally also known as “Master Harold” enters the tea room arriving from school wet from the rain outside.

The play continuously stays focus on the three main characters known as Sam Willie and Master Harrold, they briefly mention Hilda Samuels and Hally’s mother in the play through the play one can compare and contrast these two females from what we hear about them according to the third person, the way they are treated, spoken to and their actions towards the other characters in the play. Hilda Samuels is known in the play as Willie’s dance partner. We come across the fact that she is also the mother of which she says is Willie’s child but he disagrees strongly “And how do I know is my baby?

”(Master Harrold… and the boys 5). Hilda never comes to practice when Willie is waiting on her “Three nights now she doesn’t come practise”(Master Harrold… and the boys 5)and in contrast to her Hally’s mother always shows up when her husband who is in hospital needs her ”Because she’s at his bedside in hospital helping him pull through a bad turn”( Master Harrold… and the boys 11). Willie abuses Hilda often he beats her when she does things wrong like not getting her steps right when they practice ballroom dancing which is very often. ”

You hit her too much” (Master Harrold…and the boys 6) or when she does things he does not like. Whereas Hally’s Mother she is the one who gives the orders”Be firm with him. You’re the boss”( Master Harrold… and the boys 26)and she will not let anybody walk over her, but Hally stongly feels that his father has a way of over powering his mother. ”Because I’m frightened you’ll give in to him”(Master Harrold… and the boys 26).

Willie has great respect for Hally’s mother we see that because he refers to her as madam”I ask Madam for my leave now and we practise every day”( Master Harrold…and the boys 29) but he has no respect for Hilda he calls her a bitch and a whore and ugly disrespectful names ”Fuckin’ whore”( Master Harrold… and the boys 5) “Hilda Samuels is a bitch! ”( Master Harrold… and the boys 5).

Both Hilda Samuels and Hally’s mother has a child. We can see from this play from this play that Hally’s Mother is the Madam or as they prefer she is the boss, she makes the rules and gives the orders and Hilda she is a unreliable person she never shows up when it is expected from her and she does not stick to Willie’s side like she should.

Hilda is not like Hally’s mother who has respect for her husband even though he is crippled, she rather causes problems for Willie “And now she’s also making trouble for me with the baby again. Reports me to Child Wellfed, that I’m not giving her money”( Master Harrold… and the boys 5) Hally’s mother can also be described as a woman of power she owns the tea room and gives Willie and Sam their orders”she said I must clean the floors”( Master Harrold… and the boys 9).

Hilda can be described as poor and unstable because she relies on Willie for money to take care of their child and Harry’s mother as rich and stable we can see this because Hilda goes to the extent of giving Willie over to the welfare for not supporting his child. Hally’s mother in contrast can run her business on her own with her husband in the hospital and her son in school she takes control in her tea room. Bibliography Fugard,Athol. Master Harold… And the boys,South Africa:Oxford University Press,1993.


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