Most people cannot see reality as it truly is from their eyes. In Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the Boys, he shows the apartheid between blacks and whites in South Africa. While some of these white people wanted to end apartheid, other people who lived with apartheid for their whole lives do not see the wrongs with it. These people want change, but do not know that they are the issue which is known as a psychological barrier. In the play, Athol Fugard uses Willie who struggles with a psychological barrier, how Wille’s psychological barrier motivates his actions and how Willie’s barrier is altered by the end of the play to prove how Willie is affected negatively by apartheid.
Willie is a very dynamic character in Master Harold… and the Boys. Along with being dynamic, he also pertains a psychological barrier. “‘You the cream in my coffee. You the salt in my stew, You will always be my necessity. I’d be lost without you…’” (Fugard, Page 9). Willie feels that he needs Harold to survive. His psychological barrier makes him think that he cannot be his own person and that he needs someone else to live. Willie also allows Sam and Harold to take advantage of him. “Willie: ‘You and Sam cheated.’ Hally: ‘There were occasions when we deliberately let you win a game so that you would stop sulking and…’” (Fugard, Pages 27-28). Willie allows Harold to take control of him since Willie’s psychological barrier does not allow him to rebel and go against what Harold was saying. This psychological barrier allows Harold to toy and play around with Willie since Willie cannot do anything about it since he feels that he needs Harold even though he does not.
This psychological barrier that Willie has also motivates many of his actions throughout the play. Willie acts like a servant when Harold is around him. “Willie: (Springing to attention like a soldier and saluting) ‘At your service, Master Harold’” (Fugard, Page 7). Wille’s psychological barrier makes him believe that Harold is his master. He acts obedient around Harold and he does whatever he tells him to do. Willie’s psychological barrier makes him Harold’s dog. Also, he likes to beat Hilda a great amount because of his insecureness. “Sam: ‘You hit her too much. One day she’s going to leave you for good’. Willie: ‘So? She makes me the hell-in too much’” (Fugard, Page 7). Willie feels powerless with Harold controlling him so he chooses to gain some power by beating Hilda. His beatings of Hilda gives him power in that he controls Hilda like how Harold controls him.
Even though Willie’s psychological barrier motivates most of his actions, his psychological barrier was altered by the end of the play. Willie’s psychological barrier...