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Essay on Dance in Master Harold and the Boys

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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…show more content…
Nobody trips or stumbles or bumps into anybody else…like being in a dream about a world in which accidents don’t happen (1264).” To Sam, the selectivity of the championships final 6 couples, become a metaphor for an ideal society that we should be all trying to reach. The dance competition sparks hope in Sam and Hally and they both wish that the dream of dance could make “A World Without Collusions (1264).” A world where people will no longer bump into each other and there would be no problems. Both of them come to the opinion that “Maybe there’s hope for mankind after all” as they recall famous people, like Gandhi and the Pope, who have stepped out of the mold of society to create change (1262). Sam, as the teacher notes, “We’re bumping into each other all the time. None of us knows the steps and there’s no music playing. And it doesn’t stop with us. The whole world is doing it all the time” (1262). Fugard makes the point that everyone in the world is still struggling in ways to get along with one another and while it is not easy, it should not be a reason to not try to learn to dance in harmony with others and create a better world. Hally, Willie, and Sam are confronted with the reality the world might be full of dance beginners rather than the more experienced six championship couples, when Hally is forced to meet his issues with his fathers return from the hospital. As a child, Hally had to bring his father home and help him after his drunken stupors. This
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