Athol Fugard Writing Styles in A Lesson from Aloes

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The aloes in the play's title become symbolic of the situation of each of the main characters in the sense that they all must struggle to survive their harsh environment. The one “nameless” aloe that Piet keeps returning to throughout the evening becomes especially symbolic of the characters' situation due to its anonymity. Piet notes that since the aloe is confined in a tin, its roots are “going to crawl around inside ... and tie themselves into knots looking for the space creation intended for them.” Africa has become a tin for Piet, Gladys, and Steve, confining each of them in different ways. Steve's tin is created by the oppression of apartheid, which ultimately causes him to take his family and leave his country. Gladys's is formed by the fear generated by her husband's involvement in the cause to overthrow the system, which is brought to a peak when...

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This section contains 320 words
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Buy the A Lesson from Aloes Study Guide
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