11 May 2011
Compare and Contrast
By August Wilson
Death of a Salesman
By Arthur Miller
August Wilson's Fences and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman warrant comparison. Wilson and Miller both execute dramatically different styles to articulate their independent perspectives of the struggles in maintaining respectful, trustworthy relationships between a father and his immediate family in the mid 1900s. In Wilson's Fences the central character, Troy Maxson, a black man is struggling internally in maintaining his respectful, trustworthy familial relationships with his wife. Wilson emphasizes this struggle metaphorically through the game of baseball and how it relates to the struggles Troy Maxson has with his marital relationship. In Miller's Death of a Salesman the central character, Willy's struggles are expressed internally as he fights with accepting reality by living in the past. Willy's nostalgia mindset prevents him from keeping up with the modernization of society and destroys his relationship with his son Biff Loman.
Throughout August Wilson's play Fences, the protagonist Troy Maxson struggles internally with his own manhood, as a black man that has been damaged early on in his life. To Troy, it is his manhood that defines if he has succeeded or failed in life. August Wilson presents the exposition using the interaction between Troy and the all the other characters in the story to address the internal conflict of fear and anger that Troy is coping with as a black man, husband and father at a turbulent time in America where progress is taking place rapidly for racial equality.
In Act I of Wilson's Fences Troy Maxson's interactions with his friend Bono, his wife Rose, eldest son Lyons Maxson and youngest son Cory Maxson occur on the back...