A Lesson from Aloes Criticism

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The play received mostly positive reviews that applauded its treatment of race relations in South Africa as well as its dramatic structure. In his essay on Fugard's plays, Michael J. Collins insists that while A Lesson from Aloes lacks “the immediate political relevance” of his earlier work, it manages “without ever ignoring or mitigating the horrors of life in South Africa, to move beyond the particulars of place and affirm, in a world of cruelty and suffering, the value and dignity of human life everywhere.” He especially praises act 2, which he claims “is beautifully written, exquisitely paced and inordinately moving.”

Joel G. Fink, in his review in Theatre Journal of this “important” play, echoes Collins's sentiments regarding act 2, arguing that “with the arrival of Steve, ... the evening's dramatic conflicts are truly engaged.” He finds fault, however, with act 1 in which, he claims, “too much effort is...

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