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Essay A Discussion of a Father and Son Relationship in the Play Fences

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A Discussion of a Father and Son Relationship
The New York Times deems August Wilson as “the poet of black of black America”; Wilson brilliantly and wittingly brings life, meaning, and complexity to a culture of people. Ignorance can be seen as the father of discrimination and through his work, Wilson tears down the walls of ignorance in an effort to cease discrimination. Furthermore, Wilson bridges a connection between African Americans and their cultural identity. The play Fences paints black life during the 1950’s era and it is the sixth play in a ten play cycle. The 1950’s reflects a transitional state of time where African Americans were beginning to stand up and fight against racism. August Wilson integrates the social and cultural factors present during the 1950’s into his play Fences. Additionally, much of the issues faced by the characters within fences are still relevant today, classifying Fences as a true modern drama.
The father son relationship is a centering conflict within the play Fences. Throughout the play we are amerced into this complex connection of Troy and his two sons, Cory and Lyon. Additionally, we see a slight picture of the relationship between Troy and his father through the lens of Troy. Troy is overtaken with bitterness and he is convinced that his color makes him powerless. This mentality of powerlessness streams into the lives of Troy’s youngest son, Cory. Moreover, it is evident that this mentality was passed down from Troy’s father. Socio-cultural issues during the 1950’s acts as a further reinforcement to the problems depicted within the play. Troy and Lyon’s relationship slightly differs from that of Troy and Cory’s; however, it is evident that as Troy and Cory, Lyon ends up “fenced” in by ...


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...ling as if they could never be good enough. Fences in the terms of baseball refers to the outfield where baseball players aim to strike out; ironically, Troy never “strikes out”. He remains captive to internal battle he faces which reinforced by the external world. Analyzing the father and son relationships within Fences reveals an interesting parallel contingent on a generational gap. Troy fails to understand that the world is changing around him; he is stuck in the past, fenced in by his own experiences. Furthermore, he forces his connotation of life onto his sons which is detrimental to their growth as individuals. In the end Cory and Lyon are negatively impacted by their father just as Troy was effected by his father; thus, August Wilson sculpts this viscous cycle passed from generation to generation, acting as a curse on the Maxson family that is inescapable.



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