Essay on Internal Conflicts in Master Harold... and the Boys by Athol Fugards

Essay on Internal Conflicts in Master Harold... and the Boys by Athol Fugards

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Most people cannot see reality as it truly is from their eyes. In Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the Boys, he shows the apartheid between blacks and whites in South Africa. While some of these white people wanted to end apartheid, other people who lived with apartheid for their whole lives do not see the wrongs with it. These people want change, but do not know that they are the issue which is known as a psychological barrier. In the play, Athol Fugard uses Willie who struggles with a psychological barrier, how Wille’s psychological barrier motivates his actions and how Willie’s barrier is altered by the end of the play to prove how Willie is affected negatively by apartheid.
Willie is a very dynamic character in Master Harold… and the Boys. Along with being dynamic, he also pertains a psychological barrier. “‘You the cream in my coffee. You the salt in my stew, You will always be my necessity. I’d be lost without you…’” (Fugard, Page 9). Willie feels that he needs Harold to survive. His psychological barrier makes him think that he cannot be his own person and that he needs someone else to live. Willie also allows Sam and Harold to take advantage of him. “Willie: ‘You and Sam cheated.’ Hally: ‘There were occasions when we deliberately let you win a game so that you would stop sulking and…’” (Fugard, Pages 27-28). Willie allows Harold to take control of him since Willie’s psychological barrier does not allow him to rebel and go against what Harold was saying. This psychological barrier allows Harold to toy and play around with Willie since Willie cannot do anything about it since he feels that he needs Harold even though he does not.
This psychological barrier that Willie has also motivates many of his actions throughout the ...


... middle of paper ...


...logical barrier had motivated many of his actions throughout the whole play and Willie’s psychological barrier took a turn as the play went on. The play takes place during apartheid and from this play many concepts can be taken into consideration if such an event occurs again. Apartheid had affected many individuals physically, but also mentally. These mental “barriers” affect individuals under apartheid for life since it is embedded into the brain and not something that can be fixed. Psychological barriers are much more difficult to break considering that they cannot be confronted nor can they be fixed through any surgery. We learn something new every day, something that is usually basic, but a psychological barrier is instinct that is known and never forgotten.



Works Cited

Fugard, Athol, and Danny Glover. Master Harold and the Boys. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1982.

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