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Road To Mecca

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The nature of Elsa’s character
Athol Fugard’s play, The road to Mecca introduces a character, Elsa Barlow, a complex character with strong opinions. She comes across as confused and troubled throughout the play, battling with her own depression while also trying to help her old friend miss Helen with her troubles. Within this essay I am going to discuss how the confinement of time, the year 1974, and space, which is Miss Helen’s home, helps readers see deeper into the nature of Elsa’s character. I will discuss how her character unfolds through her perceptions of Nieu Bethesda as well as how her attitudes and disclosures further reveal the nature of her character and lastly what effects the confinement of time have on the dramatic tension between
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Seeing how much Elsa opposes the Afrikaner system when she gave a lift to an African woman outside Graaf –Reinet, walking face down, with her baby, to find a place to live, portrays the way she felt. The woman told Elsa that the baas said she had to leave the farm shortly after her husband died, bluntly, Elsa refers this incident to: “...a good old South African story. “ (Fugard 2003:25), moreover Elsa is also facing a disciplinary hearing for opposing apartheid; she gave her coloured class homework to write a letter to the State President about racial inequality, “…I’d give anything to be able to walk in and tell that School Board exactly what I think of them and their educational system.” Then she exclaimed, “… for as long as I’m in the classroom a little subversion is possible. Rebellion starts, Miss Helen, with just one man or woman standing up and saying, “No. Enough!” Albert Camus. French writer.” (Fugard 2003:31). Furthermore, Elsa holds the Afrikaner and their religion accountable for the lack of freedom in society, one example is her view towards marriage, a 17 year old mother, Katrina who is married to a drunk who beats her, Elsa told Helen that Katrina afew rights and for that reason she should divorce Koos. A different point of view from Helen is that Katrina cannot…show more content…
Elsa’s dynamic character has presented itself on multiple occurrences where her mood changes from one mood to another, her mood changes from being desperate to openly resistant and then from annoyed to remorseful. Elsa is also a foil character, the contrast between her and Helen, enhances Helen’s character, the protagonist. Thus this concludes the nature of Elsa’s character in the confinement of time and
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