Dance in Master Harold and the Boys
The Metaphor of Dance in Fugard’s “Master Harold”…and the Boys In Athol Fugard’s play “Master Harold”… and the Boys dance becomes a metaphor for how society can work harmoniously together, yet there are conflicts that prevent it from happening. Specifically, ballroom dance becomes a metaphor to show the conflict between a cooperative society and the disappointment associated with life and our inability to force change. This is expressed by Sam teaching Willie the mastery of dance and also educating Hally on the significance of the championships, and ultimately through the final dance performance. The difficulty associated with perfection is first seen during the plays opening when Sam is teaching Willie how to perform the quickstep
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The dream and happiness associated with the dance conversations were interrupted by his mother’s phone call which made Hally mutter after the conversation had ended, “all our talk about a decent world has been...just so much bullshit… Life’s a fuckup and it’s never going to change (1265).” Instead of dealing with his emotions like a championship dancer or the respected men who were pushing for change, Hally reacts like a beginner and takes his anger out on Sam and Willie. His actions squelch the frank and open discussions that they were able to have in their semi perfect society that had consisted of the three of them since Hally was a child. When Sam tries to stop him from saying things he might regret later about his dad, Hally explodes at him and takes possession of the racists ideas held by his father and society.
A sort of dance sequence erupts between Sam and Hally and they go back and forth about the memories involving a kite that they built together and the linger question as to why Sam had left him to fly it by himself. In the climax of their argument, Hally demands that Sam call him Master Harold. In response, Sam pulls down his pants to show the “fair side” of a black persons bottom as a comeback to Hally’s joke and Hally then spits on him (1267). This sequence parallels the immaturity and sense of control that Willie