The Degrading Effects of Apartheid

Essay by leorob007University, Bachelor's June 2005

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The Degrading Effects of Apartheid

In South Africa apartheid became a law in 1948. The word is Afrikaans (Dutch

African) and literally means "apartness" or "separateness". It is a policy of political,

social, racial, and economic discrimination and segregation against non-whites in South

Africa. In 1982, at the time when Athol Fugard wrote his play, " Master Harold"...and

the boys" ,South Africa was in the midst of the oppression of blacks. Many people were

facing decisions on whether to continue the racial segregation and hatred against blacks

or have the courage to end it. As South Africa struggles to dismantle apartheid, the media

remains suppressed and has no real outlet to make the desolate situation known to the rest

of the world (Vandenbroucke 1687). The Board of Censors regularly bans plays, movies,

newspaper articles, news stories, and books if their contents are considered politically

undesirable. Many playwrights, journalists, and authors are put on house arrest or jailed

for voicing their opinion.

Some, like Fugard, who are brave enough to fight the system,

have their works banned and have to struggle to get their works publicized, as South

African Literature is being held hostage by the apartheid system (Donahue 324). Athol

Fugard uses his play "Master Harold"...and the boys to expose the degrading effects of

the apartheid system by exploring education, living conditions, rights, and job

opportunities of blacks living in South Africa.

Fugard uses his play to expose the degrading effects apartheid has on the education

of blacks in South Africa. He uses Sam, a 40 year old black servant, and Hally, a 17 year old white student on the verge of becoming a man, to show the differences in the

education of blacks and whites. The status of education in South Africa demonstrates the

legacy of apartheid. The Bantu...