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Throughout the play ‘Master Harold’ … and the boys by Athol Fugard, Hilda Samuels and Hally’s mom play a small part in the story, as they are not presented physically but are both background characters, which present similar situations such as the family issues and authority roles as well as showing and different characteristics such as money and class issues.

Hilda’s character is described through Willie and Sam at the beginning of the play when Willie is joyfully dancing without a partner around the room. The fist impression we are given of Hilda is negative as Willie describes her as a “fucking whore” (Fugard 5) and a “bitch”. (Fugard 5) This reference is evidence that the relationship between Hilda and Willie is tense with a lot of disagreements. This is similar to the relationship between Hally’s mom and Hally’s father in the sense that neither of the couples have an ideal relationship as Hally states that “she’s no match for him when it comes to a battle of words” (Fugard 27) suggesting that there are more fights then usual. This can be supported again when the audience is noted that the father “complain(s) about the cooking.” (Fugard 27) These issues show the similarity between their relationships. These relationship problems also lead the audience to believe that the woman are similar in their ways of assertiveness.

Hilda takes action once she is violently hit by Willie as it is stated the he “hit(s) her too much.” (Fugard 6). Hilda leaves on the Sunday she is abused and does not return because he “gave her a real hiding”. (Fugard 29). It is clear that she will not stand for such disrespect. Hally’s mother also takes action when she feels her son disrespects her. “ I said I’m sorry” (Fugard 26) are the words used by Hally when his mom reprimands him for being disrespectful towards his father even when Hally willingly says “I am not being disrespectful.” (Fugard 38). This shows the assertive side Halley’s mom has. The difference between the...
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