Faith And Spirituality In Athol Fugard's Road To Mecca

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In Athol Fugard’s Road to Mecca (1985) there is differing views between the three characters (Miss Helen, Dominee Marius Byleveld and Elsa Barlow) on faith and spirituality. This essay will be examining Miss Helen’s standpoint on faith and spirituality as well as where she finds spiritual comfort, in contrast to that of Marius’s faith and spirituality and where he seeks comfort. Elsa’s standpoint on these topics will also come under analysis as the essay unfolds. Let’s begin with Miss Helen, upon the beginning of the play the scene is set for us with a description of her house and where it is situated “The living room and, leading off it, the bedroom alcove of a house in the small Karoo village of New Bethesda. An extraordinary room by virtue of the…show more content…
HELEN: If you want to put it that bluntly . . . yes. ELSA: Now that is headline material! Good for old Gerty. I always knew she like her sundowners, but I never thought she’d have the spunk to go that far. HELEN: Don’t joke about it, Elsie. It’s a very serious matter. The village is very upset. ELSA: Headed, no doubt, by your old friend Pastor Marius Byleveld. HELEN: That’s right. I understand that his last sermon was all about the evils of alcohol and how it’s ruining the health and lives of our Coloured folk.” (Fugard 2003, Act 1:12) Thus we can see how Marius sees God as salvation and finds his spiritual comfort in God and the salvation He can bring. This can be seen when Marius says he is doing his doing his Christina duty by taking care of Miss Helen. However, we later learn that it was more for his love for Miss Helen than his christianly duty. Finally we have Elsa Barlow who is neither here nor there when it comes to her faith and spirituality. We don’t learn too much about Elsa’s spirituality other than the fact that she ridicules the Afrikaners old church ways. “ELSA: And you’re an old hypocrite, Miss Helen. You love it when I make fun of the Church.” (Fugard 2003, Act

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