Racism Exposed in Fences, by August Wilson Essay

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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. Lewis states that Wilson was an African American playwright, whose past of racism when he was growing up caused him to drop out of high school after a racist accusation…show more content…
That they could breathe free, finally, and stand to meet life with the force of dignity and whatever eloquence the heart could call upon. (Wilson 1573) 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. Troy becomes so wrapped up in his own misfortunes and bitterness that he fails to realize what strength his family really has (Zirin). They are trying and willing to help him but he is unable to fathom the possibility of that because he is so far gone. Troy says “…Come on! It’s between you and me now!
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