Master Harold & the Boys

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“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad,” says Anne Geddes. In Master Harold and the Boys, Sam is that special person. Sam has been working for Hally’s family for a long time. He troubles about Hally in ways that only a father would. He has witnessed first hand how Hally needs a father figure in his life, somebody to be responsible, to help with his homework, to give him advice, somebody to tell him the difference between right and wrong. Sam and Hally discuss things that they did together as Hally was growing up. They also discuss current issues like apartheid. In addition to those things, Sam encourages Hally to do well in school and to respect his mother. Hally does not realize all the things Sam does for him. Sam steps up and does all these things unconsciously. Throughout the entire play, Sam portrays the image of a father figure.

As the play begins Sam teaches Hally a very important lesson. Sam discusses how cruel reality is. On pages 14-16 of the play Sam and Hally discuss a drawing Hally did of his teacher. Hally mentions what his teacher said, and that was that he “was no Leonardo da Vinci and that bad art had to be punished.”(Athol) Sam takes this opportunity to help Hally open his eyes. He mentions to Hally that jail is very brutal. Sam makes it very clear what they do to people in jail. For punishment, they pull your pants down, with your hands tied, and beat you. Hally does not want to believe it and mentions that it should not be that way. But, the sad truth is that besides getting mistreated in jail the facility buildings that held 600 people were holding 5,000 people in the 1950s (Wines). Wines continues to mention that a survey of 27 African governments done by Penal Reform International found that national prions operated, on average, at 141 percent of capacity. This means that prisons were over populated and the government did not care. Sam points this out because he wants Hally to know and realize that...
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