By Dennis Walder (auth.)
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Extra resources for Athol Fugard
6 Yet such feelings provide the impetus for his plays. And that painful childhood incident has finally found a pi ace in 'Master Harold' ... and the boys. The black man involved was Sam Semela, a Basuto waiter in the Fugard boardinghouse who went on to work for the family for some fifteen years. Fugard remembers hirn as the 'most significant - the only - friend' of his boyhood years. When he was about thirteen, and helping behind the counter in the St George's 22 Career and Personal Injluences Park tearoom while Semela waited at table, he and the man had 'a rare quarrei', the subject of wh ich is now forgotten.
The shack's interior will provide the setting for Scenes iii and iv, in effect framed by the exterior, backyard scenes which make the rest of this five-scene play. Fugard thus ensures that, structurally and visuaIly, the private, 'interior' world Rebecca wishes to preserve, as she wishes to preserve her relationship with WilIie, is dominated by their environment, the 'outside' 37 Athol Fugard world of township life which ultimately destroys her hopes. Before Willie hirnself enters, Fugard exposes another typical element of township life: Watson, the 'politician', whose 'work' for the day has consisted of thinking up ideas for the 'delegates' at that night's meeting.
He tends to ignore the English side of his background and upbringing, and subscribes to the myth that Englishspeaking white South Africans find it easier or more profitable to leave the country than Afrikaners. Fugard has traced his sense of guilt and remorse over wh at happens to black people to a specific incident in his Port Elizabeth childhood: 'I spat in the face of a black man. I cannot talk about it to this day. 6 Yet such feelings provide the impetus for his plays. And that painful childhood incident has finally found a pi ace in 'Master Harold' ...