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.
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
Throughout time there have always been conflicts of morality and injustice. August Wilson wrote this play about issues that were prevalent in the 1950’s but also still are sadly present today. In Fences, there is an abundance of evidence of cultural clashes. In this play these clashes span over racial, generational, and even gender lines and its effects on the characters.
Baseball is America’s pastime. The sport of baseball goes back all the way to civil war era, 1839. August Wilson saw the potential this sport had to send a message, and incorporated it into his play Fences. His collection of ten plays portrays the hardships of African Americans for every decade of the twentieth century (Wilson 961). Fences, in particular portrays the nineteen fifties (Wilson 961). When one reads Fences, yes it is about the struggle of African Americans in the time period, but it also incorporates baseball as multiple plot elements, and a metaphor for life.
In the Fences, by August Wilson shows that life of African Americans in the U.S. in the 1950s with the story of Troy and his family. Wilson uses the symbol of the fence to show the desires of each character like Rose’s desire is to keep her family together, Troy’s desire is to keep death out and to be not bound forever, and Bono’s desire is to follow Troy, his best friend, as an example of the right way to live and to be with Rose and Troy who are basically his family. Rose and the other seen characters represent people and show gender roles of the time, like Rose is a housewife, Troy is the provider. Also Cory is the new generation of emotion over responsibility, Gabriel represents the war heros that were permanently disabled from war
In Fences, August Wilson introduces an African American family whose life is based around a fence. In the dirt yard of the Maxson’s house, many relationships come to blossom and wither here. The main character, Troy Maxson, prevents anyone from intruding into his life by surrounding himself around a literal and metaphorical fence that affects his relationships with his wife, son, and mortality.
Fences can be viewed as a family play, it can also be viewed as a work specifically of the black man's place, or plight, in a predominantly white world. Either way, it has a very valuable message. It is a true art to be able to touch on so many aspects of life in a work, aspects that may be viewed differently by different people.. Wilson's work, and the character of Troy Maxson, makes me question many things, among them myself, as well as his intended message. This is why I am so in awe of Fences, and of Wilson's talent. This is why I am writing my paper on Fences.
When men reach a certain age, they tend to look back into their lives and reflect on their struggles and accomplishments more than they look forward. It is this mid life crisis where they decide what man they have been in their life. The plays: Fences by August Wilson and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry tell the story of two men reaching a certain age, one would consider a midlife crisis and have a similar background or story but when they look back will they see the same thing. Both of these plays take place during the same time period, they are set just a decade before the civil rights movement. The two of these plays follow the lives of two African American men and their families fighting racism in their lives being segregated and discriminated against. Both Troy Maxon and Walter Younger are men who are struggling and working through tough situations and hardships but who are they working for? It is this question’s answer that leads to the major differences the men have between them behind the large similarities they share. Before getting to there differences let us break down and analyze the similarities to show how much the mindset of a character can affect one’s outcome
“Jesus be a fence all around me every day. Jesus, I want you to protect me as I travel on my way” (Wilson 1.2.21). The play Fences follows the journey of an African American family, the Maxons, and their struggle to handle the appearance of both physical and metaphorical fences. Fences shows the difficulties that the Maxons face in an attempt to balance love, loss, and laughter. The Maxson family lives in Pittsburgh during the 1950’s, and they meet tensions when searching for equality within their relationships and in their larger community. Throughout the play, tension builds between characters. To portray this tension, the author, August Wilson utilizes the narrative elements of parallel plots through storytelling, developing characters
In the play “Fences” by August Wilson the play’s attitude toward women is biased, and if the play was written by a female I think it would have a stronger feminine influence. Issues such as racism and discrimination against blacks may be raised in the play that the author did not bring up, and the women in the story somewhat do generally typify women in the 1950s. To support my interpretation, the women in the play were homebodies, just worrying about the household because they felt like that 's what they were supposed to do and that 's all that was expected of them and etc.
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
Lives are lead with anxiety over certain issues and with apprehension towards certain events. This play, Fences written by the playwright August Wilson deals with the progression of a family through the struggles of oppression and the inability to obtain the American Dream. The characters in the play develop throughout the story and can be viewed or interpreted in many different ways, but one man remains constant during the play and that is Troy. Due to certain events that transpired as he was growing up, Troy is shaped into a very stubborn yet proud man. To be a man who was black and proud ran the risk of getting destroyed, both physically and mentally. The world of the 1950s and 60s was rapidly changing and
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.
August Wilson’s play Fences brings an introspective view of the world and of Troy Maxson’s family and friends. The title Fences displays many revelations on what the meaning and significance of the impending building of the fence in the Maxson yard represents. Wilson shows how the family and friends of Troy survive in a day to day scenario through good times and bad. Wilson utilizes his main characters as the interpreters of Fences, both literally and figuratively. Racism, confinement, and protection show what Wilson was conveying when he chose the title Fences.
In past times, racism and economic injustice headline the many problems that present themselves to society. Some people accept the horrors that appear with the issues while others take actions to change the issues for the better. August Wilson reveals that in his play Fences.” Written in 1957, Wilson’s play portrays an African American family during the time of the civil rights movement who struggle to reach the self-proclaimed American Dream in the United States (Wilson 963-1018). The protagonist, Troy Maxson, is influenced by Wilson’s stepfather, David Bedford (Martin and Downing). During the civil rights movement, African Americans carried few to no rights as an American citizen, presenting controversy to the world of political science and economic power. Wilson also contributes to the theory of Marxism in Fences. Introduced by Karl Marx, Marxist Criticism paints an identical picture of the way society reveals itself in the twentieth century. “Marx’s main interest was in economic power and the ways in which it disguised and manipulated.” (Schakel and Ridl 1455). Wilson incorporates those views into his play Fences. Wilson also reveals his intake on the views of Marxism. “Today I would say that the conflict in black America is between the middle class and the so-called underclass, and that conflict goes back to those who deny themselves and those who aren’t willing to (Lyons 1024).” The author believes that African American struggle contributes to the theory of Marxism.