Fences, by August Wilson, is a drama that focuses on the characteristics of black
life in the mid to late twentieth century and the strains of society on African Americans. Set in a small neighborhood of a big city, this play holds much conflict between a father, Troy Maxson, and his two sons, Lyons and Cory. By analyzing the sources of this conflict, one can better appreciate and understand the way the conflict contributes to the meaning of the work.
The first conflict in this play develops between Troy and his 34-year old son
Lyons. This conflict is introduced when Lyons appears at the house on Troy?s payday to
borrow 10 dollars, an occurrence that is common at the Maxson household. Although
Troy knows that he will let Lyons have the money, he harasses Lyons over the issue
saying, ?...The only time I see this nigger is when he wants something. That?s the only
time I see him.? The source of this conflict lies in Troy?s experiences and attitude
toward the black cause. Troy is the victim of a generation with limited opportunities in
the industrial world and toils everyday to support his family and stay on top of his
struggle for survival. Troy has come to believe, from his experiences, that blacks cannot get something for nothing and that life does not owe blacks anything. Due to this, Toy ?fences in? everything that he loves to protect his possessions from the monster of society. Thus there is a symbolization of Troy building a physical fence in the yard but building an emotional fence of protection around his family and friends. He believes that blacks owe it to themselves to make an honest, hard-earned living and that is the only way to survive. Troy states sarcastically that Lyans is blowing his...
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... and Rosa will
do regarding their relationship. The couple face each other here and admit truths that
they have seldom ever talked about and Rosa stands up to Troy realizing that he is
imperfect and full of flaws. This conflict jeopardizes Troy and Rosa?s relationship and
digs a whole in which they never truly overcome. This conflict emphasizes Troy?s
weakness and Rosa?s strength and dignity.
In the drama Fences ,by August Wilson, Their is much conflict entangling a black
family living in the twentieth century. This conflict involves Troy trying to live his life through his sons, Lyans and Cory, while trying to keep them from making the same
mistakes in life that he did. Also, there is conflict including Troy and his young daughter Raynell. By looking at the root of this conflict, one can better grasp the contribution it makes to the drama.
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