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Fences by August Wilson Essay

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Who is Rose Maxson? What drives her to be so embracing, to have a startling ability to be sturdy, compassionate, and forgiving? Who is Amanda Wingfield? Her relationship with men and family is turbulent, what attributes emanates from her to be a nurturing mother? What drives her to be poignant? How are these women perceived? What should we learned from them? Are their lives to be discarded or honored?
Fences is a compelling story of a Black family in the 1950s. A tale of the encounter of the released black slaves trying to survive in the middle of American urban industrial city. A story of four generations of Black Americans and of how they have passed on a legacy of morals, mores, attitudes, and patterns of life.
Fences examine the escalating racial tensions in America during the 1950s. It deals with such complex social issues as racism and adultery. The author also recognizes that the family lies the foundation for American society as a whole, and chooses family as the emphasis for the story. The family is built with that specific form of love, respect, friendship, belonging, affection, and values that defines the true basis of society. Its importance to the Black culture dates back to the times when Blacks where taken from their native land and brought to a foreign and hostile land. The protagonist of Fences is former baseball player-turned Pittsburgh garbage man Troy Maxson, and the antagonist is clearly racism. It is racism which has defied Troy Maxson at every turn and his skin color stood in the way of his quest to grab a piece of the American dream for himself and his family. Racism creates the conflict, which causes Troy to feel that he has been fenced in by a discriminatory society. There are heated tensions wit...


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Wilson, August. "Fences." August Wilson Three Plays. Paul Carter Harrison. Pittsburgh:
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991.

Williams, Tennessee. "The Glass Menagerie." Modern Critical Views Tennessee
Williams. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Williams, Tennessee. "The Glass Menagerie." An Introduction to Literature. Barnet,
et al. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004.

Wilson, August. "Fences." An Introduction to Literature. Barnet, et al. New York:
Pearson Education, Inc., 2004.


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