Study Guide

Master Harold... and the boys Lines 347-673

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Lines 347-673

  • Hally sits at the table to study and eat the lunch that Sam's served.
  • Sam looks at a doodle of Hally's teacher, Mr. Prentice, and Hally tells him he got six swats for drawing it.
  • Sam tells him about what it's like to be beaten by the police in jail. Hally doesn't dig the story.
  • Hally says he believes that social reformers will change the world so that people won't treat each other so badly in the future. Sam isn't so sure.
  • Hally's got some hope in progress, but admits that sometimes the world seems like a pretty terrible place.
  • Sam picks up Hally's math book and starts to read, with some help from Hally on the more technical words, like "magnitude."
  • Hally announces that he'll probably fail math, but that it doesn't matter because "examination results don't measure intelligence."
  • Sam kids Hally that he always says that whenever he's failed an exam.
  • The guys get into a discussion over which historical figures are men "of magnitude," who made a real difference in the world.
  • Sam suggests Napoleon, but Hally disagrees because even though Napoleon was historically significant, he wasn't a social reformer like his own hero, Charles Darwin.
  • Sam doesn't think that knowing the theory of evolution really benefits mankind. Hally's shocked that Sam doesn't appreciate how Darwin revolutionized science.
  • Sam still doesn't buy it, and says that Abraham Lincoln is a real man of magnitude.
  • Hally says he figures Sam would've said something like that.
  • He tells Sam he shouldn't be so stuck on Abraham Lincoln, since he's never been a slave or anything like that.
  • Really?
  • They go through a list of important people, including Tolstoy and Jesus Christ, all the while Hally being the little pretentious scholar.
  • Sam finally suggests Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. Hally agrees that this is a real man of magnitude.
  • Sam and Hally reminisce on their five years studying together, Sam learning from Hally as he does his homework every night.
  • Sam remembers the first map Hally made of South Africa. Hally had proudly pointed out all the regions and their products.
  • Hally's amazed at Sam's memory. Sam says that Hally started passing his exams because he was trying to be better than him at geography, and they have a laugh.

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