Fences, The Heart And Spirit Of The Average Man

1779 Words Mar 27th, 2016 8 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 then do the reasons for his actions become clear, and Troy’s role as the modern day tragic hero is fully comprehended.
Part of understanding Fences is understanding the title. Fences are used in Wilson’s work frequently: “Three dramatic inscriptions of the fence include his Pulitzer Prize – winning play, Fences, as well as Two Trains Running and Gem of the Ocean” (Wardi 5). Fences are used both physically and metaphorically to describe various situations in the play. The fence that Troy and Cory construct throughout most of the play is both physical and symbolic. He uses it to keep Death away from him saying “I’m gonna build me a fence around what belongs to me. And then I want you to stay on the other side” (Wilson 568). He also uses it to…
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