Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Children! My Africa!

Title: My Children! My Africa!
Author: Athol Fugard

What it's about: This is a play, not a book. It has three characters and takes place in South Africa during apartheid. Isabel and Thami are high school students. Isabel is white and Thami is black. After an inter-school debate, the black teacher at Thami's school, Mr. M., sees how well Thami and Isabel get along, and he proposes that they both team up for an English literature competition. Isabel and Thami become friends, but Thami is not satisfied with how life is going. He constantly hears talk of rebelling against the unfair treatment of blacks, and he is angry with Mr. M for being, as Thami sees it, too passive and old-fashioned. As the play goes on, Thami's unhappiness stresses his relationships with the other two until finally something has to change forever.

What I thought: I was expecting a play about Issues. Instead, I was surprised most pleasantly to find a play with characters who talked and acted like real people. Isabel and Thami were teenagers who talked and acted like teenagers - awkward at times, sometimes getting angry when they shouldn't, idealistic, and just other normal things. There are several scenes that are just monologues, but those again are true to the characters and not excessively preachy.

Overall: This was a good play. Though it was assigned for class, it was actually fun to read. I recommend it.

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