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The Life of August Wilson Essay

Decent Essays
Drama is about bringing reality to life through acting and interpretation. August Wilson wrote the play Fences about his life: the heartbreaking reality of racism in his own life and the struggles he faced to overcome it. He had a hard childhood and career due to prejudice and fatherly abandonment, and he reflected that through his works of African American drama.
Wilson uses the character of Troy, his family, and his friends in Fences to pour out his life, his hardship, and the horrifying difficulty African Americans faced throughout the generations.
August Wilson was born in a ghetto area of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to his white father,
August Kittel and African American mother, Daisy Wilson Kittel. His father left him,
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The character Rose wanted a fence built to ―hold on to‖ her family, especially Troy Maxson – her husband (Wilson 2.1.68). W. P. Kenny explores that the fences in the play are ―rich symbol[s]‖ that convey the barriers of a ―racist society‖ (Kenny par. 18). The fence of racism in Wilson‘s life led him to write about the racism he faced throughout life and the racism many face each day of their lives.
Wilson encountered racism early on in his life and this began to influence his writing. In fact, Drama for Students states that Wilson was falsely accused of plagiarism and had to drop out of school at fifteen (Galens 181). Similarly, when Troy was fourteen he was forced to leave home because of his cruel father. W. P. Kenny details how Troy had to ―harden himself‖ from the dangerous world around him to protect his dreams (Kenny 14). It is Troy‘s hardness that defines choices he makes with his son Cory. Troy and Wilson both faced hardship early on and it defined them greatly, although differently. Because of the toll of severe racism, Wilson had great difficulty attaining the education he needed to become a playwright as he had dreamed.
However, he did not allow this impediment to deter him; he was determined to attain a proper education and writing career.
Despite the complications due to racial prejudice that impeded his early education and career, Wilson did not give up and he succeeded in writing
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