Essays on valley song by athol fugard

Martins, who has filled her yard with heathen statues and sculptures, all facing toward Mecca. Helen receives an unexpected visit from her much younger friend, Elsa Barlow, who has driven eight hundred miles from Cape Town in response to a letter that seemed to her a cry for help. Elsa has some serious problems of her own, which she does not reveal until the end of the play. She speaks only of the African woman carrying a baby to whom she had given a lift, food, and money, a woman she left trudging patiently to some unknown destination.

Essays on valley song by athol fugard

Most of these characters do little or nothing except validate their existence through words that cry out to be heard. Their language ranges from the harshly naturalistic to the eloquently poetic; their rhythms are acutely South African, yet they cross linguistic barriers.

From such images, Fugard has crafted works of art as solid as steel, as fragile as china. Sturdy yet delicate, his plays wear well—the ultimate tribute to a master artist. Fugard has long acknowledged his debt to Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett.

In Camus, he found a kindred spirit for his worldview and his role as an artist; in Beckett, he found a dramaturgy of maximum import with minimum theatrical outlay. Confined to one room or space, two or three characters recollect, recriminate, role-play, and resign themselves to their existence in a world without meaning and with little hope for change.

They delude themselves with false hopes and dreams, amuse themselves with games to pass the time; such nobility as they possess comes in the fleeting, lucid moments when they acknowledge their condition—and their dependence on each other. He revels in the palpable, the tangible.

In the realities of daily living—sore feet, tired bodies, arthritic hands, mounting stress, and cruel insults—Fugard reminds people that they are the sum of their pain.

Essays on valley song by athol fugard

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but their interdependence is undeniable. The half brothers of The Blood Knot, bound inextricably in a union of opposites, reveal themselves completely in a long play of seven scenes that builds to a harrowing climax.

In both plays, two characters diametrically opposite in temperament and goals explode in words and acts when confined in a small space. Morris, the light-skinned brother, suffers from agoraphobia—fear of open spaces—after wandering ten years trying to pass for white, while Zach, the dark-skinned brother, has suffered from claustrophobia ever since Morris returned to minister to him by ordering his life.

Zach hates the world that has decided his blackness must be punished. Morris is the better equipped mentally for this last fight—also, weakened by thought and sympathy. Zach has the physical strength and impetus of hate.

It will pass the time. Because we got a lot left, you know! Almost a whole life. I mean, other men get by without a future.

In contrast, the humor of their adult games is sardonic and menacing, their laughter double-edged. They are two particular South African brothers, yet avatars of Cain and Abel.

Like Morris and Zach, Boesman and Lena are locked in an intimate love-hate relationship as mates—one they have fallen into years before the play opens, and one that Lena chooses to reassert as the play ends, in spite of her open rebellion throughout.

Though she threatens to remain behind, Lena prepares to follow Boesman; in response, he tells her the correct sequence of their journeys, which she had so desperately tried to get straight throughout the play—as if that knowledge would explain how she got where she is.

Suicide is out of the question for Boesman and Lena. In recounting her past to the old African, who cannot understand her language any more than Boesman and Lena can understand his, Lena defines pain: One night it was longer than a small piece of candle and then as big as darkness.

Somewhere else a donkey looked at it. Moreover, both have been accused of writing plays of despair or bitter comedy. Fugard defends Beckett against such charges, as many critics defend Fugard. It reads as well as it plays.

Its companion piece, Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, another virtuoso play for actors, comes closer to a stream-of-consciousness novella than to a drama built on the classical unities of time, space, and action that Fugard observes in Boesman and Lena and his three subsequent critical successes.Athol Fugard Biography Athol Fugard (born ) was a South African playwright known for his subtle, poignant descriptions of the racial problems in his country.

Essay on Tsotsi, by Athol Fugard Words | 8 Pages. The novel Tsotsi, by Athol Fugard, is a story of redemption and reconciliation, facing the past, and confronts the core elements of human nature. South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in is bounded to the south by 2, kilometres (1, mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland (Eswatini); and.

Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard OIS (born 11 June ) is a South African playwright, novelist, actor, and director who writes in South African is best known for his political plays opposing the system of apartheid and for the Academy Award-winning film of his novel Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood.

Fugard was an adjunct professor of . "Athol Fugard Valley Song" Essays and Research Papers Athol Fugard Valley Song Athol Fugard Biography Athol Fugard (born ) was a South African playwright known for his subtle, poignant descriptions of the racial problems in his country.

Fugard often directed and acted in his plays, as he did with and productions of Valley Song. In the play, Fugard played the character of the black grandfather, Jonkers, and the autobiographical character of the white author.

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