ENG 1501 Assignment 2
Question C- The Road to Mecca (Athol Fugard)
The Road to Mecca is an eye opening play written by Athol Fugard that displays a deep and significant message about the importance women's right to express themselves freely. Elsa, a character in the play, sums this idea up in a sentence she says in the play: "There's nothing sacred in a marriage that abuses the woman".
The story is primarily based on a woman by the name of Helen Martin. Helen lived in a culture with certain social norms and conformities, where women specifically were afraid of pursuing their dreams due to an unwarranted fear of what others would think of their ideas and them, themselves as human beings. Helen conformed to the social norms and married, but when she died I believe that she was able to follow her dreams due to the fact that she did not have her husband's religious judgments stopping her. After her husband's death, her community expected her to begin a new life of quiet mourning, but instead she followed her dreams and began to build her own Mecca. This consisted of making many various statues in her backyard. Instead of the village residents in her community admiring and appreciating her art, instead they thought of her to be eccentric and rejected her. Helen was admirable as she continued her passion of art and creation even though her society was against her artistic ways. Instead of deciding to stop, even when stones were thrown at her house, she carried on building her Mecca. She dared to be different!
Helen's courage and free-will in this play portrays an important message of free expression that all women deserve and are entitled to have. Worrying about what other people think about you will never allow you to find out who you really are. Helen was torn between deciding whether or not to conform to the social norms expected of her or to carry on with her dreams and experience freedom. She chose the latter and fulfilled her own heart's desires. Even though she lost many friends by doing so, there was Elsa, who accepted and supported her ways. Being yourself, and putting your dreams, thoughts and ideas in to reality is a true
representation of who you are and thus you will know who your true friends are.
Helen's courage in the play can be learnt by all women. Following societal norms and doing everything that is expected by you from society may be an easy way out. But by following this safe and easy way through life, there will be many potential characteristics and...