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Theme And Themes In Wilson's Fences By August Wilson

Decent Essays
“Jesus be a fence around me every day” (Wilson 21). The way fences protect us and divide us are a prevalent theme seen throughout the play Fences by August Wilson, as well as in everyone’s daily life. The play takes place in the 1950s, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The work examines the dynamic of the Maxson’s, an african american family, and delves into themes regarding learned family behavior, race, and the priorities of trust, love, and pride. In Wilson’s Fences, the author uses narrative elements such as characterization, recurring motifs, and parallel plot to create tension between characters.

Wilson uses characterization as a narrative element to implement tension between his characters in Fences. The author shows how Troy, the main character, and Rose, Troy’s wife, prioritize pride and love differently. Wilson’s characterization also portrays the impacts those choices have on their relationships. An example of this can be seen when Wilson writes, ”What law say I gotta like you?” (Wilson 37). This quote is from an excerpt in which Cory, Troy’s son, asks Troy why he never liked him. It illustrates how Troy believes that as a father, his duty to his children is to provide, not to show affection. On the contrary, Rose’s priorities are seen in the quote “I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom”(Wilson 71). The excerpt, spoken by Rose, depicts how, though Troy may not appear to be a good man, she had faith in the goodness in him, and was willing to sacrifice
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