Fences Title Analysis

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The reason why August Wilson chose to set his play Fences in 1957 is because it was a pivotal moment in United States history for equal rights. Throughout the story, the characters go through trials and tribulations because they are African Americans in the United States during this time. The main character, Troy, is an African American man who struggles the most from being a black man. The title “Fences” has many symbolic meanings and it has significance to the slavery period in America. August Wilson also created the time period with his language use as well.
Beyond question, the title of “Fences” has many interesting ties to the plot of the play. First, the title refers to the legal boundaries of the Mason-Dixon Line in the 1820’s. The Mason-Dixon Line, being the line that separated the free man from slavery, is a symbol in the play for the bitterness that still lingers within Troy. Even though the play occurs in the 1950’s racism is still alive and well, especially in the older generations of black men and women. Coincidentally, Troy chooses to push people away that are closest to him and it is a reflection of his anger from being alienated from society because of the color of his skin, hence the title “Fences.” Next, the word fences also means that Troy builds a fence in request of Rose because she wants to keep everyone
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Furthermore, the main character Troy beats up his son in a day and age where it was more acceptable to hit your children. It was also more common in the 1950’s for a man to treat his family unfairly. As long as women and children were not bringing home money, they were viewed upon as second class citizens compared to men. Racism exists today, but it was not as prevalent as it was in this play. The story lines and character issues stem from typical issues of a 1950’s black family in
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