At its most basic, the kite that Sam
fashions for Hally
is a symbol of the human capacity to rise up and to rise above. The kite’s potential for flight is like our potential to transcend both our personal limitations and the broader, more systemic limitations imposed on us by our society and culture. As such, it also represents a kind of joyful freedom. When Sam first presents Hally with the kite, Hally is embarrassed at the idea of flying a kite with a black man, but, when the kite begins to fly, his embarrassment melts away and is replaced by pure elation. Hally’s joy at the prospect of flight blinds him to the fact that Sam is societally excluded from sharing it. Yet, as is later revealed, Hally unknowingly flies the kite from a “whites only” bench. There is an implicit challenge that the story of the kite offers in “Master Harold” and the boys
: the plays asks us to keep our eyes open enough to see beyond our own joys or sorrows and register when others are abused, maligned, and oppressed. The kind of carefree joy Hally experiences flying Sam’s kite should be possible for us each and all.