"MASTER HAROLD". . . and the boys/Fences
Performance Outcomes and Deliverables
Lessons include the analysis of character, language, dialogue, symbol, allusions, flashback, point of view, and allegory. Students perform research, infer outcomes, form syllogisms, debate issues, and graph reader-responses. In addition, lessons emphasize note taking, organizing, and essay writing. The unit features a discussion of what constitutes human greatness.
A short-answer exam with answer key is included in the final lesson for this play. A handout in the final lesson suggests several essay topics.
- Critical thinking
- Civic literacy
- Social and cross-cultural skills
- Leadership and responsibility
A political allegory, “MASTER HAROLD” . . . and the boys deals with family, race, society, government, and art. Set the fifties in South Africa, the drama exposes difficult relationships that exist among fathers and adolescent sons. The sociopolitical environment for Fugard’s play—the South African apartheid government—infects Hally, a seventeen-year-old, white student, and his relationship with the longtime, black workers in his mother’s dessert shop.
Fences won four Tony awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle award for best play, and the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for drama. African-American characters live in a city similar to Pittsburgh just before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The members of the Maxon family come into conflict with each other over how they should live their lives.