In Fences, the setting is a big element which shows that racism can take a toll on the characters’ quality of life. The play begins with an introduction informing the readers as to where the play is taking place, “The setting is the yard ... an ancient two-story brick house set back off a small alley in a big-city neighborhood. The entrance to the house [Troy’s house] is gained by two or three steps leading to a wooden porch badly in need of paint. ... One or two chairs of dubious value sit at one end”(Setting Page) (Wilson, 1986) The setting that Troy and his family live in indicate that they are being pushed away by the majored society, the white-skinned people, and forcing them to live as hidden as possible in the big-city neighborhood, in old houses in a small alley. The setting also indicates that Troy’s family is poor enough to not be able to afford paint to paint their wooden porch, upgrade their house, or be comfortable by buying new chair instead of dubious value ones. The precedent is because black people at that time were being pushed away from good and comfortable jobs such as driving trash-collecting trucks, but instead they were forced to collect the trash itself. With Wilson showing the reader...
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...ge truck. However, on the other side of the road, the fence represents Troy’s hopeful thinking of the black people forming an alliance with white people in hopes of no more wars and bullying. The precedent can be seen by looking at the slowly deteriorating fence, not being rebuilt, trying to let the two races live on the same territory, not being separated by a big scary fence. Wilson uses symbolism because it is a great way to show how racism took a big toll in Troy’s family’s life.
In conclusion, in August Wilson’s Fences, racism can take an enormous toll and have an effect on people’s lives, especially black people. The playwright shows the precedent using elements of drama such as the setting, the characters’ development and symbolism. The whole play itself can be seen as an allegory to what the world’s history shows with slavery and black people discrimination.
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