Essay about August Wilson's Fences - Building Fences

Essay about August Wilson's Fences - Building Fences

Length: 3030 words (8.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. What was Wilson trying to say with this piece? The more that this play stuck in my head, the more I was impressed with Wilson as a playwright. What talent, to create such a character, to produce a work that wouldn't leave me alone, but, as time wore on, produced more and more questions.

As I reflected more and more on Wilson's masterpiece, my anger turned to curiosity Instead of my curiosity waning, it grew. I felt like I was unraveling a huge ball of yarn. In a play about family, a million different issues lived. I was astounded at the number of issues that Wilson touched upon, issues ranging from family relationships, to problems in the workplace, racial tensions, and infidelity. And under each one of these was another, underlying issue, the reason, or the catalyst that enabled these to prevail. Part of the genius of this piece is that it is like an onion, with many layers, and can be interpreted on many different levels.

At first, I despised the character of Troy Maxson. I could not feel sympathy for a man who had achieved a certain level of sati...


... middle of paper ...


...ther people build fences to keep people in" (Wilson, 61). Troy Maxson built them to isolate himself and to keep out the people he loved the most.


Works Cited

Bogumil, Mary L. Understanding August Wilson. University of South Carolina Press, Colombia:1999.

Elkins, Marilyn. August Wilson: A Casebook. Garland Publishing Inc., New York: 2000.

Nadel, Alan. May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson. University of Iowa Press, U.S.:1994.

Pereira, Kim. August Wilson and the African American Odyssey. University Of Illinois Press, Chicago:1995.

Shannon, Sandra G. The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson. Howard University Press, Washington D.C.:1995.

Wilson, August. Fences. Penguin Books U.S.A. Inc., New York:1986.

Wolfe, Peter. August Wilson: Twayne's United States Authors Series. Ed. Frank Day. Twayne Publishers, New York:1999.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Symbolic Importance of the Fence in August Wilson’s Fences Essay

- Alan Nadel argues that the object of the fence in August Wilson’s play, “Fences” symbolizes a great struggle between the literal and figurative definitions of humanity and blackness. The author summarizes the play and uses the character Troy to explain the characterization of black abilities, such as Troy’s baseball talents, as “metaphoric,” which does not enable Troy to play in the white leagues as the period is set during segregation (Nadel 92). The author is trying to use the characters from the play as examples of black people during the segregation years to show how people of that time considered black people not as literal entities and more like figurative caricatures....   [tags: August Wilson, Fences]

Powerful Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Conflict in August Wilson's Fences and How it Affects the Work Essay examples

- 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....   [tags: August Wilson Fences Essays]

Powerful Essays
1365 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Symbolism in Fences by August Wilson

- August Wilson uses the symbol of a 'fence' in his play, Fences, in numerous occasions. Three of the most important occasions fences are symbolized are by protection, Rose Maxson and Troy Maxson's relationship, and Troy against Mr. Death. Throughout the play, characters create 'fences' symbolically and physically to be protected or to protect. Examples such as Rose protecting herself from Troy and Troy protecting himself form Death. This play focuses on the symbol of a fence which helps readers receive a better understanding of these events....   [tags: Fences Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory]

Free Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

Fences by August Wilson Essay

- ... . . this child got a mother. But you a womanless man.” Rose tried to use a fence of divine power to keep her family protected. Troy neglected this by committing adultery, leaving his marriage to the mercy of the incomplete fence. The fence Troy builds around himself deteriorates the relationship between him and Cory. While Troy and Cory are working on the fence, Troy tells Cory that he will get nowhere playing football. He believes that the “white man” will never let Cory get far in society....   [tags: play analysis]

Powerful Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

Isolation and Alienation of Troy in Wilson's Fences Essay

-      August Wilson's Fences is a play about life, and an extended metaphor Wilson uses to show the disintegrating relationships between Troy and Cory and Troy and Rose. Troy Maxson represents the dreams of black America in a predominantly white world, a world where these dreams were not possible because of the racism and attitudes that prevailed. Troy Maxson is representative of many blacks and their "attitudes and behavior...within the social flux of the late fifties, in their individual and collective struggles to hew a niche for themselves in the rocky social terrain of postwar America" (Pereria, 37)....   [tags: August Wilson, Essays]

Powerful Essays
1921 words (5.5 pages)

Racism Exposed in Fences, by August Wilson Essay

- August Wilson’s play Fences brings an introspective view of the world and of Troy Maxson’s family and friends. The title Fences displays many revelations on what the meaning and significance of the impending building of the fence in the Maxson yard represents. Wilson shows how the family and friends of Troy survive in a day to day scenario through good times and bad. Wilson utilizes his main characters as the interpreters of Fences, both literally and figuratively. Racism, confinement, and protection show what Wilson was conveying when he chose the title Fences....   [tags: racism, confinement, protection]

Powerful Essays
1286 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about August Wilson's Fences

- 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....   [tags: Troy Maxson, Literary Analysis]

Powerful Essays
947 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Fences: An American Play by August Wilson

- Fences Introduction Fences is an American play written by August Wilson. It was based on the tough time faced by the African Americans during the time of Civil rights movement. It is the story of a character named Troy who is depicted as a baseball player who had to leave his game because of color discrimination prominent in that era. The play revolved round the family of Troy, who has to live miserably by doing a menial job of garbage collector....   [tags: civil-rights, African Americans]

Powerful Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

The Symbolical Meaning Behind the Title of Fences by August Wilson Essay

- Fences is a play that was written by August Wilson, it follows the life of Tony Maxson, a garbage man, who throughout the play is building a fence around his home. The title, Fences, has more significance than one may have thought at first glance. The title is very symbolic in the perspective of almost every character in the play. Within Act 2, Scene 1 of the play, when discussing the reason as to why Rose wanted the fence up, with Cory and Troy, Bono says “Some people build fences to keep people out… and other people build fences to keep people in....   [tags: close, death, family]

Powerful Essays
553 words (1.6 pages)

Fences as Metaphor in Fences by August Wilson Essay

- As with most works of literature, the title Fences is more than just a title. It could be initially noted that there is only one physical fence being built by the characters onstage, but what are more important are the ideas that are being kept inside and outside of the fences that are being built by Troy and some of the other characters in Fences. The fence building becomes quite figurative, as Troy tries to fence in his own desires and infidelities. Through this act of trying to contain his desires and hypocrisies one might say, Troy finds himself fenced in, caught between his pragmatic and illusory ideals....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
419 words (1.2 pages)