The themes that we find in Boesman and lena are self-hatred, shame, abuse, racial segregation, racism, poverty, homelessness and hardships. These themes tells us more about the main idea of the play. Themes of Boesman and lena are expressed by the motifs and the symbols that we also find in the play. The symbols that we find in the play are barefoot, faded maroon blouse, heavily burdened, mudflats, corrugated iron and scrap metal, shapeless grey trouser and grey colour. We also have the motifs in the play struggle, oppression and inequality. The motifs and the symbols in the play expresses the themes. This essay will discuss the themes in the ordered manner as mentioned above firstly and then explain how the symbols and the motifs expresses the themes.
Self-hatred is the hatred that Boesman and Lena have towards their selves, Because of the life that they are living. Boesman and lena live a shapeless life. ‘’They don’t reach the destity they are moving around the world looking for life, but every time when they try to settle in a place they a been chased by the Whiteman’’. The Whitenman destroy their ‘’pondoks’’ Fugard (1973.5). The reason for all this it is because the squatter camps were not allowed to become the neighbours of the Whites. Boesman and Lena want to live a better life, they are disadvantaged the government system of apartheid and they end up having self-hatred towards themselves. They cannot do anything for themselves they are restricted to do so.
Shame the characters have shame of the situation they are living on, with regard to their standard of living and lifestyle. The way in which they live is very unpleasant. They live an unhealthy life, they don’t earn and they don’t have means to sustain their lives. They are also ashamed of the lifestyle that they are living, because each and every time Lena ask Boesman ‘’to go back to Veeplas or Missionvale and Redhouse, because there is a chance of a job there on a saltpans’. Fugard (1973.10). If they can have a job they can change they in which they are living and their lifestyle also. Now because they don’t have jobs and they are poor they have to be obedient to the Whites just because of the skin colour. Another thing that is also making them ashamed is their skin colour. Because they think that the colour of their skin is the factor leads to a miserable life.
Abuse is one of the main idea in this play. The Whites abuses their powers on the Coloureds and Blacks. They are also abusing the poor people. ‘’ A coloured man walks on heavely burdened, on his back he has an old mattress and blankets, a blackened paraffin tin, an apple box containing a few simple cooking utensils and with one hand dragging a piece of corrugated iron’’. Fugard (1973.3). The Whites were abusing people that were living the squatter camps, they did not even give them a notice before they can destroy their squatter camps, they just came and start to destroy the pondoks and they victims were supposed to take their...