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Analysis of August Wilson’s Fences Essay

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How would you feel if you witness that your life has been a complete failure? This is the question that Troy Maxson, the leading character in the drama Fences written by August Wilson, had to live with for the rest of his existence. It is the year of 1957 in Pittsburgh, where African descendants escaped from the savage conditions they had in the south. They were living in a world without freedom. While the play develops, the author shows the 1950s as a time when a new world of opportunities for blacks begin to flourish. As a consequence, Troy, who grew up in the time before this, felt like a complete stranger in his own land. Even though he was a responsible man, he had to live with a black hole of bitterness, and resentment that impeded him to have a normal relationship with the people in his family.
Troy’s life was not easy. He had to stand alone fighting in a world that closed its doors of triumph in his face. In spite of his great talent for baseball, the barrier of racism did not let him succeed in this promising career. This event marked his life in such a way that his life became a reflection of his bitterness. One of the moments where we can see Troy’s position is when his own son Cory begins to trace its path as a football player. He refuses to accept that his son might succeed in his dream of becoming a professional, showing his over protection, and at the same time jealousy. He cannot stand the thought of Cory getting abused by the athletic industry, but most important, he also can’t stand the thought of Cory succeeding where he failed. The anger Troy has inside shows up when Cory asked a simple question: “How come you ain’t never liked me?” and Troy answered angry: “Like you? Who the hell say I got to like you? W...


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It is because of these feelings that he felt the necessity to escape from them, finding refugee in the arms of another woman.
It is easy to judge Troy in a subjective manner, basing our thoughts on his deceived to his beloved wife and his resentment to his own son. His life became the ramification of his failure, ruining his relationship with the people he loved. The same failure that was taken out on those he felt a responsibility to, such as Rose, and Cory. Nevertheless, we must have empathy and put ourselves in his situation. How well would you do if you lived in a world where there’s no freedom? Where your dreams are only an illusion? A world where you are less than everybody else? This is just not a story to show the failures of a human being, but a story of enlightenment into the lives and thoughts of an African-American man living in that kind of world.



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