Essay about August Wilson's Fences

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August Wilson’s Fences was centered on the life of Troy Maxson, an African American man full of bitterness towards the world because of the cards he was dealt in life amidst the 1950’s. In the play Troy was raised by an unloving and abusive father, when he wanted to become a Major League Baseball player he was rejected because of his race. Troy even served time in prison because he was impoverished and needed money so he robbed a bank and ended up killing a man. Troy’s life was anything but easy. In the play Troy and his son Cory were told to build a fence around their home by Rose. It is common knowledge that fences are used in one of two ways: to keep things outside or to keep things inside. In the same way that fences are used to keep things inside or outside Troy used the fence he was building to keep out death, his family, and his disappointments in life while Rose used the fence to keep those she cared about inside and help them bond.
Troy was met with many hardships in his life that left him feeling like he needed to protect himself from the things that have hurt him and could hurt him. The fence that Rose told Troy to build symbolized the barrier that he puts up to protect himself from the things that have hurt him and could hurt him in the future. Troy uses the fence to symbolize the emotional separation and neglect he has towards his family; Rose and Cory in particular. The main reason why the fence took the whole play to complete is because Troy neglected it and spent his time with his mistress which symbolized his neglect towards his family. Cory brings this to attention when he tells Troy that he "don't never do nothing, but go down to Taylors'", which is obviously his mistress’s home (Henderson). This was Troy’s f...

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...hand Rose wanted the fence built in order to keep the people she loved and cared about in it. These two different perspectives served to symbolize the difference between Troy and Rose in the story. At the end of the play you see Rose’s fence brings her family back together, showing that if you plants a seed, the idea of building the fence, and take care of it, building the fence, in time it will bear the fruit of your work and love, the family coming together.

Works Cited

Henderson, Gloria M., Anna Dunlap Higgins, Bill Day, and Sandra Stevenson Waller. Fences. Literature and Ourselves 2009 Mla Update. Sixth ed. N.p.: Pearson College Div, 2011. 143-97. Print.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Fences Title." Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Fences.” SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.

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