Fences, The Heart And Spirit Of The Average Man

1779 Words8 Pages
Fences tells the story of Troy, a sour sanitation worker desperately clinging to the notion that he could have played Major League Baseball. He is unlikeable and unfair, at times cruel and severe, however these actions are a result of his turbulent childhood, his constant defeat in the face of adversity, be they his baseball career or the struggles of his day to day life. A tragedy in the truest sense, Fences chronicles “the heart and spirit of the average man” (Miller). The mold Wilson uses to cast Troy has its share of cracks and imperfections, but rather than focusing on the many faults on the surface of an underprivileged life, it is paramount that the origins of these cracks and the sources of these imperfections is understood; only…show more content…
The fence can also be viewed as the symbolic obstacles Troy faces in throughout his life. Poverty and homelessness as a young man, 15 years in prison, the color line in baseball, all are fences which he was unable to surmount. Like many tragic stories “the underlying struggle is that of the individual attempting to gain his "rightful" position in his society” (Miller). Fences is full of struggles starting for Troy as soon as he comes into this world. Troy is born in 1904 into a less than perfect world and by the time he is fourteen years old he leaves Alabama to escape his abusive father. He runs away to Pittsburgh, following the promise that there are good jobs there. Wilson sets the scene in ‘Steel City’, a place of great importance to him. He was born there and sets “nine out of the ten plays in the neighborhood of the Hill District” (Wardi 1). His relationship with his father is lacking, something that he is determined to improve upon with his own children, but as time progresses, it becomes apparent that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. As a father Troy doesn’t have much to go off of, the only love he has ever know has come from his father. His mother left when he was young, as did all of the women his father courted: “He wasn’t good for nobody” (Wilson 556). So in addition to his absent father figure
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