Study Guide

Master Harold... and the boys Lines 674-947

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Lines 674-947

  • Hally reminisces about their old life at the Jubilee Boarding House, which was a rough time for him. Willie acts out the part of Hally's mom, searching for him as he hides in the servants' quarters with Sam and Willie.
  • Hally remembers the terrible tenants who used to populate his childhood home: soldiers, sailors, and prostitutes.
  • He can recall in detail all the sights and smells of the place, and the exact layout of Willie and Sam's room.
  • He also remembers walking in on Sam getting it on with his girlfriend, and the posters that the guys used to have on their walls of famous dancers, movie stars, and boxers.
  • Hally starts acting like a theater director, telling Sam and Willie what to do to recreate the scene.
  • These are clearly really fond memories—of hiding under Willie's bed, of cheating at checkers, of pulling the covers off Willie's bed.
  • But Hally has a favorite memory and makes Sam guess what it was.
  • Hally goes back to the day that Sam was building something and wouldn't tell Hally what it was—it was a surprise. It turned out to be a kite, and Hally was sure it wouldn't fly because it was homemade out of whatever scraps Sam had lying around held together with homemade glue. He remembers being embarrassed to carry it down the street.
  • Anyway, Hally says, what does a black man know about flying a kite?
  • He hoped no one would be around to watch this rickety kite crash to the ground and laugh at them.
  • Sam makes Hally narrate how amazed and happy he felt when it actually flew. Hally describes the sensation of feeling the kite tug behind him and soar up into the air. He wished there were a hundred kids watching!
  • Sam tied it to a bench and left him there to watch it. Hally says it must have been strange to see a little white boy with a black man old enough to be his father flying a kite, but that it would have been just as strange to see him with his own father, because he's "crippled."
  • Hally tells Sam that he wishes Sam would have stayed with him at the bench. Sam quietly says he had to leave to go to work.
  • Hally talks about writing stories or a novel about their time in the Jubilee Boarding House.
  • He wishes life was as simple as it was back then.

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