August Wilson's Award-Winning Play, Fences about an African American Baseball Player

August Wilson's Award-Winning Play, Fences about an African American Baseball Player

Length: 803 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

August Wilson's award winning play, Fences, airs at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey from January 10th until February 9th. The play revolves mainly around a former African American baseball player, Troy, attempting to keep his family together but leaving his family members incarcerated to his desires rather than their own. Emmy nominee and Tony award winning director, Phylicia Rashad, leaves the audience believing Troy is the protagonist by the end of the first act and they are left questioning who the antagonist is. The protagonist of a play is the central character usually equipped with the antagonist, the person or thing that prevents the protagonist from his or her wants. By the end of the play the audience is left with the realization that Troy's son, Corey, is the real protagonist with his father serving as the antagonist.
Corey is the character who's attitude fluctuates throughout the entire play. His primary "want" is to play football: go to college for football and eventually play in the professional league. His father however, who recollects his baseball playing years numerous times, forbids his son from doing so to "protect" him. He believes that pursuing a career in any sports is basically a set- up for disaster. While he hits the baseball tied to the tree in their backyard, he reminisces how good of an athlete he was but he ended up as a garbage pick-up man (eventually upgrading to the garbage truck driver). Troy seems to be living vicariously through his son's life, the life that he would choose if he were Corey's age still. Also, there is definitely the underlying feeling that Troy's jealously of Corey's open opportunities is his urge to prevent Corey from pursuing his dream. His anger towards his fathe...


... middle of paper ...


... of the play, Gabe attempts to blow his horn and "open the gates of heaven" for Troy. His attempts fail, until finally he projects to the sky to open the passage to heaven and let Troy in. A bright light showing that "heaven" has opened appears and then blackout concludes the play.
Gabe portrays hope throughout the entire play. Troy ruins the family bond that he spent years trying to maintain and he broke the trust of his own wife and child. He realizes this and knows that he will not be forgiven. But since Corey is an incredibly flexible character he realizes that he must forgive his father so he will not live a life of hatred and he will be able to start new, not living in the shadow of his father's mistakes. Gabe proves that in spite of the fact that Troy was not able to make it to heaven by himself, everybody should have a second chance for reconciliation.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Forgive and Let Die Essay

- It seems that when anyone passes away all of the horrible things they may have done during their lives melts away. Suddenly everyone’s perspective shifts to nothing but love and admiration regardless of the things they may have done that hurt others. In the award-winning play Fences, written by August Wilson, this is type of occurrence is exemplified when the protagonist, Troy Maxon, dies and everyone close to him is left to remember him for the man he once was. Before Troy’s death he’s a man who let’s numerous people down including his wife, Rose, and his two sons Cory and Lyons, but after his death they all chose to forgive him regardless of the hardships Troy put them through when he was...   [tags: August Wilson's Fences]

Better Essays
761 words (2.2 pages)

Impact of Racism in Fences, by August Wilson Essay

- Racism is everywhere; it is all around us and at most times it resides within us. Racism basically refers to the characterization of people (ethnicity based) with certain distinct traits. It is a tool with which people use to distinguish themselves between each other, where some use it to purposely inflict verbal, physical or mental attacks on others while some use it to simply distinguish or differentiate from one another. It all depends on the context in which it is used. The play Fences by August Wilson, takes place during the late 1950’s through to 1965, a period of time when the fights against segregation are barely blossoming results....   [tags: August Wilson, Fences]

Better Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about August Wilson's Fences - Building Fences

- August Wilson's Fences - Building Fences The first time I read August Wilson's Fences for english class, I was angry. I was angry at Troy Maxson, angry at him for having an affair, angry at him for denying his son, Cory, the opportunity for a football scholarship.I kept waiting for Troy to redeem himself in the end of the play, to change his mind about Cory, or to make up with Ruth somehow. I wanted to know why, and I didn't, couldn't understand. I had no intention of writing my research paper on this play, but as the semester continued, and I immersed myself in more literature, Fences was always in the back of my mind, and, more specifically, the character of Troy Maxson....   [tags: August Wilson Fences Essays]

Better Essays
3030 words (8.7 pages)

Analysis of Fences by August Wilson Essay

- In the play Fences by August Wilson, Troy is shown as a man who has hurt the people who are closest to him without even realizing it. He has acted in an insensitive and uncaring manner towards his wife, Rose, his brother, Gabriel and his son, Cory. At the beginning of the story, Troy feels he has done right by them. He feels this throughout the story. He doesn’t realize how much he has hurt them. Troy is the son of an abusive father. His father was hardly around to raise him. When he was around, he made him do chores and if he didn’t do them he would beat him....   [tags: Fences, August Wilson]

Better Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Religion in August Wilson's Fences Essay

- In August Wilson's play, Fences, the character, Troy Maxson, is by no definition a religious man. He has created his own religion through his own philosophies, especially baseball. Sandra G. Shannon's critical analysis, "The Good Christian's Come and Gone: The Shifting Role of Christianity in August Wilson Plays," gives analogies for the way Troy deals with his own spirituality. It is agreeable that Troy, like other Wilson characters, deals with religion in his own way. Shannon asserts, "this cynical black man does not lay his burdens down at the church's altar....   [tags: August Wilson, Fences]

Better Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Fences by August Wilson

- Fences by August Wilson      We all lead lives filled with anxiety over certain issues, and with dread of the inevitable day of our death. In this play, Fences which was written by the well known playwright, August Wilson, we have the story of Troy Maxson and his family. Fences is about Troy Maxson, an aggressive man who has on going, imaginary battle with death. His life is based on supporting his family well and making sure they have the comforts that he did not have in his own childhood. Also, influenced by his own abusive childhood, he becomes an abusive father who rules his younger son, Cory?s life based on his own past experiences....   [tags: August Wilson, Fences]

Better Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)

Fences by August Wilson Essay

- 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....   [tags: August Wilson Fences, racial identity]

Better Essays
1871 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Exposing Boundaries in Wilson's Fences

- Exposing Boundaries in Fences Fences is a play that deals with boundaries that hold people back and the trials and tribulations of those who try or wish to cross them. The characters are African-Americans in a time before the civil rights movement, living in an industrial city. The main character, Troy Manxson, is a talented baseball player who never had the chance to let his talent shine, with restrictions on race and his time in jail as the main obstacles that held him back. He is now hard working and loves his family....   [tags: Wilson Fences Essays]

Free Essays
909 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Elusive Perfection in Wilson's Fences

- The play, 'Fences', presents a slice of life in a black tenement and is set in the late 1950's, through 1965.  The main character, Troy Maxson, is a garbage collector.  Throughout the play he rebels and frustrates as he struggles for fairness in a society which seems to offer none.  His actions and behavior towards his family can be interpreted by a reader as those of a violent and bad father.  However, soon one notices that beneath a mask of cruelty and toughness there is an individual who takes responsibility for his family no matter how difficult circumstances may seem.  Hence, he is a good father who tries to keep his family together and provide necessities for them....   [tags: Wilson Fences Essays]

Better Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

Essay Fences by August Wilson

- In the play, Fences, Troy seems to have a complicated relationship with every other character in the play. This applies especially to his relationship with his son, Cory. Troy and Cory have many similarities and differences that complicate their relationship. There are many outside factors that also make matters worse. One of the differences that complicate their relationship is that they have grown up in completely different time periods. A great deal has happened between the times when Troy was growing to the time period that Cory is growing up in....   [tags: Fences, August Wilson]

Better Essays
659 words (1.9 pages)