Preview

"The Island" by Athol Fugard

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
2077 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
"The Island" by Athol Fugard
The Island (1973) Athol Fugard

A Quick Rundown of The Island

- The Island is a Fugard play that resorts to the Classics to protest Apartheid.
- It takes place in four scenes, opening with a lengthy mimed sequence in which John and Winston, two cell mates in prison on Robben Island, carry out one of the totally pointless and exhausting tasks designed by warders to break the spirit of political prisoners.
- Winston has been sentenced to prison for life because he burned his passbook in front of a police station.
- John has been imprisoned for belonging to a banned organization.
- The story traces the relationship of these two men. Winston is the active rebel,
- and John, the intellectual, is trying to persuade him to play Antigone in a condensed
- two-character version of Sophocles’ play.
- It is to be a prison “concert” for their fellow prisoners and the guards.
- However, Winston rebels at playing Antigone. He doesn’t want the other prisoners to laugh at him for being dressed as a woman, wearing a mop for a wig, false “titties,” and a necklace made of salvaged nails. He protests, “I’m a man, not a bloody woman ... Shit man, you want me to go out there tomorrow night and make a bloody fool of myself?” (p. 208).
- John finally convinces him to cooperate by putting the dress on himself and saying, “… behind all this rubbish is me, and you know it’s me. You think those bastards out there won’t know it’s you? Yes, they’ll laugh. But who cares about that as long as they laugh in the beginning and listen at the end. That’s all we want them to do … listen at the end!” (p. 210).
- Then John is taken to the office of the head warden and told that his appeal against his sentence has been granted. His ten-year term has been reduced to three years. In three months, he will be free.
- But Winston is now facing a bleak future without the friend whose imagination has helped to keep him sane.
- In the final scene, as the two present their version of

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Steven Herrick’s work of “By the river” displays a bildungsroman novel in which harry goes on a journey through life, facing love and loss.…

    • 645 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    George orwell, "1984"

    • 1473 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Winston's rebellious character portrays him as a radical, who has the strength to defy the party and its principles. Winston and Julia secretly meet and it becomes apparent that she shares his rebellious ways. Learning that she has engaged in sexual acts with numerous Inner Party members, Winston finds hope. Winston and Julia, however, rebel against the Party for different reasons. Winston wants to end the harsh oppression of the party while Julia's rebellious acts are more self-centered. Winston first demonstrates his hatred of the Party and Big Brother when he writes in his diary "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER". He knows at that very moment a camera might see the written words on the page. Winston continues to flirts with possible arrest by the "Thought Police" for a thought crime, which is any written or though of rebellion against the Party.…

    • 1473 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Armin Greder’s The Island is a picture book that explores the negative concepts of ‘belonging’ through instances of alienation and judgement. The text presents symbols and metaphors that can be applied to universal social issues, particularly the migrant experience. Although the tone of the text is ultimately pessimistic, there are suggestions of Christian ideals such as sharing, caring for the less fortunate and having a clear conscious. The text also not only discusses an outsider’s perspective of not belonging, but also the negative aspects of belonging to a group or community.…

    • 568 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Life in the United States was anything but heavenly for Asian Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As vividly described in Mary Paik Lee's autobiography, "Quiet Odyssey", a very large majority of the Asian American population residing in America during this time period "never had enough money for a normal way of life" (Lee, p.9). They usually had to resort to difficult physical labor to barely get by, jeopardizing their health in the process. Japan's subjugation of Korea, even though it actually took place in Korea, greatly affected the Korean population in America, sometimes even causing some of the initial Korean presence in the States. Lee's story reveals some of the obscure aspects of Korean history that otherwise may be more difficult to excavate. It also depicts the racial discrimination severely rampant during this time, and how Asian Americans worked to better their position in American society despite this obstacle. Asian Americans in Mary Paik Lee's Quiet Odyssey brutally experienced the effects of poverty, degradation, colonialism, and racial discrimination, as reflected in Lee's accounts of personal experience and Asian American Cultures 101 of the University of Washington.…

    • 1173 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Winston has a firm belief that the totalitarian government, the Party, is corrupt and cruel toward the people. A totalitarian government is a government that attempts to control all aspects of its citizen’s lives. However, by the end of the story, the Party is able to alter Winston’s thoughts toward them. Before his torture at the Ministry of Love, Winston recalls faint memories about his childhood and other memories about a rebellion against the Party. However, now, Winston feels as if he is “troubled by false memories occasionally” (Orwell 298). The memories of a rebellion against the Party come across as irrelevant to Winston, when before, it is all he thought about. At the Chestnut Tree Café, Winston acknowledges that “he had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” (Orwell 298). In other words, Winston accepts the ways and the rules of the party, and decides to continue on with his life, disremembering all of his past. Winston cannot be defined as a hero because of how he chooses to go along with the totalitarian government as opposed to standing up for what he thinks is…

    • 871 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    At first, even Winston does not know his aim of writing the diary, then he realizes “But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage”(Orwell 27). There is a no denying fact that under the control of Big Brother, Winston’s diary will not influence anyone, except himself. Writing the diary is a way to keep Winston staying sane, which is because most of the Oceania people already lost their mind to tell right from wrong. Thus, sometimes, even Winston himself may question whether he is right or not. When he begins to write his diary, he already realized he must die eventually. Even knowing this outcome, Winston still choose to write the diary because it is a main way for him to express his rebellion against the government. In Winston’s diary, he could write everything he wants and express his rebellion against the Party independently, which gives both Winston and readers the hope to fight against the Party. Even though at the end, Winston fails to take any actions against the government, his diary is his rebellion. Also, in Winston’s diary, he memorizes some obscure memory of his past, which can be interpreted into his subconscious desire to past life. It is a well established fact that he is longing for getting…

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    1984 Literary Guide

    • 1294 Words
    • 6 Pages

    8. Why does Goldstein’s influence never seem to decline? Why doesn’t the government capture him?…

    • 1294 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    From the beginning of the novel rebellion had always been a part of Winston, but as time went on rebellion from the powerful Big Brother consumed him. After his hysteric outburst on paper on writing “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER”, Winston reveals that, “He had committed- would still have committed, even if he had never set pen on paper- the essential crime. Thought crime..." This is the first time Winston allows his feeling to surface through the suppression of the party. Within him there is sheer hatred for Big Brother, enough to sporadically scream his demise through pen and paper. More importantly, he knew he committed a crime and that it was inevitable. Though he knows that what he has done cannot be changed he accepts its inevitability. Rebellion was rooted in the deepest part of his mind as Thoughtcrime and it was inescapable.…

    • 601 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Winston Smith does not realize it but longs for love and compassion. He is in a marriage that is assigned to him. He does not really love his wife Katherine. When she divorces him he notices that he needs someone to love and to take care of. This feeling lead to Winston's Dreams of his mother and how she loved and nurtured his sister he can't remember. He often dreams of this woman he is infatuated with. All the poor man is looking for is love and compassion, but in his society all he will get is a controlled relationship and room 101. This makes Winston hate Big Brother and the party. Big Brother is the face of the party. Winston is not even sure if he is real or not but he for sure does not like…

    • 678 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Winston is the symbol for rebellion and at the beginning of the story he is depicted as an old man, even though he is in his thirties. He walks slowly and is very frail. This shows that not only is Winston weak but so is the rebellion. As time moves throughout the novel it is evident that Orwell stresses less on Winston’s flaws and fragility but more on the actions that Winston does against the rebellion.…

    • 988 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Hamburger, Kate. "From Sophocles to Sarte." Sophocles the Classical Heritage. Ed. R D. Dawe. New York: Garland, Inc., 1996. 251-269.…

    • 2361 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    1984-Is There Privacy?

    • 1398 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In 1984 George Orwell describes how no matter where you go in Oceania there is…

    • 1398 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Analysis on 1984

    • 1195 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Winston 's death is foreshadowed again later in the novel. Winston knows he will be caught and wiped off the face of the earth. Winston believes that the only possible way to prolong death is to…

    • 1195 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Antigone’s introduction as a feminist is within the context of a fiercely sexist civilization. Sophocles paints a vivid portrait of a male dominated society. In 442 BC, women believed that they were inferior to men because men held power and influence over the people and the cities. The patriarchy consisted of men who considered themselves of higher importance and standing, and men who would assign women duties and expect them to perform without question. This authoritarian rule placed women in a subordinate role and extinguished any hopes of power. In the face of this efficiently and tightly controlled agency, Antigone rebels with what Catherine Holland describes as an “otherness” and an “anti-authoritarian” bent. Her very existence as the protagonist and, simultaneously, the antagonist defines her character as the adversary of man and thereby the adversary of the world. Antigone’s razor sharp temerity captures the spirit of modern and nascent feminism as she slashes the societal fabric into which she is woven.…

    • 1638 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    1984 Journal Entry

    • 1992 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The world in which Winston Smith lives in is very frightening. It is very unlikely that people from the world we live in would survive for long living in it. I think it is an awful time to be alive because you have no freedom at all. Winston is in the worst possible position, he is in the Outer Party. He is being monitored at all times and he can only cooperate. It seems that the proles and the Inner Party are much better off. I think that this is true because nobody cares about the proles and they can do what they want. The bad thing about them is that they are very poor and have no money. We don’t really know much about them. Maybe just like any other animal they have adapted to the bad conditions and somehow they are getting food and surviving. The Inner Party probably live the best lives because they are basically in charge of the country. They get all the good foods that no one else gets. I expect that many of them have big houses, a lot of money and the freedom to do what they want as long as it’s not some huge crime. I expect that in the long term Winston will meet someone, who will help him gain more confidence. I expect that somehow Winston will play a very big role in taking down Big Brother and the party. Maybe there will be some underground organization and Winston along with many other of his colleagues will join it. Using his power of changing newspapers he can write some big article revealing the truth about Big Brother and the party. They will gather all the proles and with their help they will overthrow the Party. This is a very optimistic expectation and I doubt that it’s going to happen. I thought of this outcome only because of O’Brien. The connection that Winston had with him, or thinks he had with him is the only thing keeping the hope alive in the novel. It’s the only thing that makes me think that maybe by the end of the story, the world would have changed for better. The other way that the story can evolve is for Winston…

    • 1992 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays

Related Topics