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Phone calls in Master Harold and the Boys

By Marti2304 Sep 06, 2014 269 Words
Discuss the dramatic significance of the regular telephone calls which Hally receives from his mother regarding his father’s progress in the hospital. How does Hally react to these calls? Do they have an impact on Hally’s state of mind?

Hally's father is disabled and in the hospital throughout the duration of the play. He is an alcoholic, a bully, and is deeply racist. Hally does not respect his father and they do not have a good relationship. Eventhough he does not respect his father, he still admits that he loves him, but it is better when he is in hospital because he cannot embarrass him and his mom then.

Telephone calls from Hally’s mother help move the plot forward. Although the audience hears only Hally’s side of these conversations, his responses expose what she is saying to him; he is horrified to learn that his father is being released from the hospital. As Sam tries to stop Hally from talking cruelly about his father, the bond between Sam and him is quickly established. During a brief phone conversation with his father, Hally lets down his guard and demonstrates his frustration by accusing Sam and Willie of meddling. Hally's dad's public displays of drunkenness created shame in the young boy as well.

Although Hally’s dad is never seen on stage, he has a very strong influence on Hally. He affects Hally in a negative way and damages him emotionally. The irony is actually that Hally possesses a lot of his father’s perspectives in life and he is actually just as disabled as his dad.

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