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
There are quite a few clichés throughout fences. The aspiring musician who is always poor, the washed-up sports player, the crazy old man who is really actually a wise character, the loving wife, etc. It’s interesting to see Wilson place such (to me) an emphasis on the crazy “fool” character, and end up leaving him out for such a long period of time throughout the script. Of particular interest is the way it seems Wilson completely mutes the trumpet, so much that it doesn’t even play anymore, and cannot open the heavens, leaving Gabriel himself to dance and whoop and holler in order to accomplish the desired
The fence becomes a representation of the barrier that Troy tries to create between him and mortality. Troy has a fixation on Death. He talks about how Death is an easy “fastball on the outside corner” (I. i). Troy always speaks about how he could easily knock a baseball out of the park. Comparing Death to a fastball shows how Troy thinks that he can continue to always keep Death on the other side of the fence because like a
The tone that August Wilson uses is an approachable and lofty blend at the same time. To begin with the protagonist of fences, Troy is a mindful man whose dreams are obstructed, this makes him have confidence in self-made fantasies. The play first begins with an entertaining story about his struggle with a personified Death character.
August Wilson did not name his play, Fences, simply due to the melodramatic actions that take place in the Maxson household, but rather the relationships that bond and break because of the “fence”. The “fence” serves as a structural device because the character's lives are constantly changing during the construction of the fence. The dramatic actions in the play strongly depend on the building of the fence in the Maxson’s backyard. Fences represents the metaphorical walls or fences that the main characters are creating around themselves in order to keep people in or vice versa. The title may seem straightforward, but in actuality it is a powerful symbol which can either have positive or
Fences, a play written by August Wilson, is about how life was for African Americans in the late 1950’s. The play talks about how their race determined how people would treat them, where they could live, what kind of job they could have, and what kind of activities they could participate in. There is a character in the play, named Troy Maxson, who was a pervious baseball player in the Negro League Baseball, because of his race; he was not allowed to play in the Major League Baseball. Since Troy didn’t play baseball, he became a garbage handler in Pittsburg. He met his wife, Rose, and they had a child together. Troy ends up having an affair with a woman named, Roberta, and they conceived a child together. One of his sons, Cory, wants to play football when he attends college, but his father ruins that chance and turns down the offer before he could even make the decision. Troy worked hard to provide his family and did what he needed to make sure they survived, he thought by not allowing his son to play college football and making the decision for him would be best, and he also thought cheating on his wife would make him feel better. Troy did all of this because he felt like it was the correct thing to do in his circumstances.
August Wilson’s Fences depicts life in the 1950s for a typical African American family. The play touches upon racism, shifting family dynamics, and the politics of war. While racism plays an important and vital role in the play, instead of lamenting the issue, Wilson uses the characters as a weapon against the rampant racism of the time. In the same fashion, the relationship between Troy, Rose, and Cory demonstrates the shifting cultural and family dynamics of the decade. Likewise, Wilson’s depiction of Gabriel as a wounded veteran who is not fully supported by the government that sent him off to war offers an enlightening commentary on the politics of the era. Wilson uses the
Alan Nadel argues that the object of the fence in August Wilson’s play, “Fences” symbolizes a great struggle between the literal and figurative definitions of humanity and blackness. The author summarizes the play and uses the character Troy to explain the characterization of black abilities, such as Troy’s baseball talents, as “metaphoric,” which does not enable Troy to play in the white leagues as the period is set during segregation (Nadel 92). The author is trying to use the characters from the play as examples of black people during the segregation years to show how people of that time considered black people not as literal entities and more like figurative caricatures. Stating that these individuals were considered to be in a
Fences written by August Wilson is an award winning drama that depicts an African-America family who lives in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania during the 1950’s. During this time, the Mason’s reveal the struggles working as a garbage man, providing for his family and excepting life as is. The end of segregation began, more opportunities for African American people were accessible. Troy, who’s the father the Cory and husband of Rose has shoes fill as a working African America man. He is the family breadwinner and plays the dominant role in the play. Troy’s childhood was pretty rough growing up on a farm of 11 children. Overtime, he realizes the change of society. He builds a friendship fellow sanitation worker, Jim Bono while in the penitentiary. Troy planned to build a fence around his house to control the number of people on his property. The fence also plays a symbolic role throughout the drama. These motives and characteristics control is what makes Troy the friend, father, worker, and husband he is today.
I didn't know anything about August Wilson before I began my research. I was very surprised to learn about his separatist views, because his play seemed so universal to me. I was also very surprised to learn that he had left school two years early because of a racial comment from a teacher, and that he had acquired the remainder of his education from hours spent at the library. What I had not known was that many aspects of Fences can be seen as
Behind every literary piece is hidden meanings and figures the author strategically hides between the lines of their works. In the play Fences by August Wilson, many symbols and themes hide between the lines in order to make this an amazing drama. One main symbol in this play is the fence being built throughout the storyline. The fence within the story represents the walls that arise between characters, the security Rose wants for her family, and the mending of relationships after Troy’s death.
Throughout history, civilizations have built fences to keep enemies out and keep those they want to protect inside. In society today, people create metaphorical fences in order to fence in their feelings, while others create literal fences in order to keep the unwanted away. In the play Fences, the Maxon family lives in 1950’s America whose love for sports and one another are questioned at times when they need to be together the most. In the play Fences by August Wilson, two main characters Troy and Cory Maxon build a fence, literally and metaphorically, which as the book progresses, becomes a symbol that allows each character to truly understand each other.
The play “Fence” by August Wilson’s has a connection with real world fence. “The yard is a small dirt yard, partially fenced, except for the last scene, with a wooden sawhorse, a pile of lumber, and other fence-building equipment set off to the side. The Opposite is a tree from which hangs a ball made of rags. A baseball bat leans against the tree. Two oil drums serve as garbage receptacles and sit near the house at right to complete the setting” (Wilson 2). He mentions that the fence has three parts open, unopened and cornerstone. The word yard and fence are symbolically represented structure and dream of country, society and Troy’s family.
In baseball, Fences is the slang term for the outfield wall that must be cleared for a home run (Zirin). During troy’s younger years he was a great baseball player but due to the color barrier in the major leagues, he was unable to finish his dreams. Although Troy knows he could go the distance in baseball, he sees the fences in his real life as a confinement. The fences are not only his confinement from his dreams but he is confined to dealing with his guilt. Troy says “I stood on first base for eighteen years and I thought…well, goddamn it…go on for it!” (Wilson 1609). Troy has built up guilt due to his infidelities with another woman. He cheats on his wife because he despises the idea that Rose is the best he can do. The building of the fence is something that Troy is trying to delay because he feels like in a sense having the fence up with take away his dreams and keep him in which is inevitably the reason for his adultery.
Fences is a short history written by the African-American author August Wilson in 1985, that follows a tragic flow and explores significant social issues like racism, family conflicts, mental illness and gender inequality that took place in the post- World War II era, and still affecting us today. To support his ideas, the author takes us into the life of its characters in order to examine their societal and self-imposed limitations; also, the effective use of symbols, setting and themes create a broad perspective of this societal issues analyzing its origin, developing and culmination, in order to let the readers make their own conclusions.