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The Symbolic Importance of the Fence in August Wilson’s Fences

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Alan Nadel argues that the object of the fence in August Wilson’s play, “Fences” symbolizes a great struggle between the literal and figurative definitions of humanity and blackness. The author summarizes the play and uses the character Troy to explain the characterization of black abilities, such as Troy’s baseball talents, as “metaphoric,” which does not enable Troy to play in the white leagues as the period is set during segregation (Nadel 92). The author is trying to use the characters from the play as examples of black people during the segregation years to show how people of that time considered black people not as literal entities and more like figurative caricatures. Stating that these individuals were considered to be in a…show more content…
The combination of Rose as well as Troy is a more appropriate symbol for the fence; it is the combination of the two characters that creates a stronger representation of a fence. Rose is the driving force that forces Troy build the fence, so in reality it is Rose’s strength that carries the power that Troy needs to create a protective barrier around their home, life, and weaknesses from the outside forces of the world. Rose feels the need for a protective barrier, a fence, which can be built around her home for the protection of her family and her household. Her idea involved keeping the things and people who are important to her inside rather than keeping things and people outside. Troy is the opposite and wants to keep everything out. Interestingly, both Rose and Troy want the fence to protect their lives it is just a matter of perception. The title "Fences" symbolizes the figurative fences that the characters are wrapping around themselves either to keep people from departure or to prevent them from entering. Regardless of head-ships and difficulties, the Maxon family clearly shows that, with the contribution of both Rose and Troy, has a foundation of love. This foundation is what holds the symbolic fence between the family and the rest of the world. This foundation is strong, and is especially tested by Troy, Who, despite his later betrayal, genuinely loves his wife, Rose
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