Essay on August Wilson's Fences

Decent Essays
August Wilson’s Fences was centered on the life of Troy Maxson, an African American man full of bitterness towards the world because of the cards he was dealt in life amidst the 1950’s. In the play Troy was raised by an unloving and abusive father, when he wanted to become a Major League Baseball player he was rejected because of his race. Troy even served time in prison because he was impoverished and needed money so he robbed a bank and ended up killing a man. Troy’s life was anything but easy. In the play Troy and his son Cory were told to build a fence around their home by Rose. It is common knowledge that fences are used in one of two ways: to keep things outside or to keep things inside. In the same way that fences are used to keep…show more content…
In the play when Cory and Troy fight, Troy kicks Cory out of the house saying, “Cory: Tell Mama I'll be back for my things. Troy: They'll be on the other side of that fence." (Henderson) It is in this particular passage that Troy uses the fence physically to represent the dividing line between Cory and him, but more specifically the emotional barrier he’s put between him and his family. Troy grew up with an abusive father which makes his complete emotional disregard towards his family logical. If the man that raised you taught you keep your emotional guard up even with your family, you would probably treat your family the same way that Troy treated his; with complete emotional neglect and disregard. The fence working as barrier could also symbolize Troy trying to protect himself from feeling too deeply towards things which could end up disappointing him or already have. For instance, when Troy became passionate about becoming a Major League Baseball player he suffered extreme disappointment when he was rejected because of his race. It was this life lesson that reinforced Troy’s upbringing of emotional disregard towards things he could grow to either want, love, or feel passionate about like his family and friends. Troy’s philosophy in building the fence was that if you don’t grow an emotional attachment to something then it cannot hurt you, and he stayed by philosophy till his death. The fence also became symbolic of the barrier Troy wanted to
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