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. He lives with his wife and son and his younger brother who was an ex – soldier and received a head injury which rendered him psychologically ill. The play was written in 1983 but it was based on the happenings common in 1950s as it was the prominent time in which Civil Rights Movement was at its peak. The protagonist of the play was thus black who is just managing to meet the needs of his family. The other characters were his son from a previous marriage, a lady with whom he has an extra marital affair and his friend Bono.
The Civil rights movement was characterized by the developments for equal rights for the African Americans. There was development of governing bodies like National Association for the advancement of Colored People (NAACP). They address issues and filed for lawsuits for the betterment and equality of the African American. The protagonist of the play was also an African American thus there were connections and glimpses of the civil rights movement in the play. The protagonist Troy was portrayed as a baseball player who was discriminated because of his color and not taken into the tam for which he had to suffer a life full of difficulties and problems. He was never financially secure and thus had to compromise on some of the basic needs of day to day life. The play also depicted that he being discriminated because of color was much negatively affected that he did not allowed his son to join the football team. It was the main reason his son holds resentment against him.
The civil rights movement was about upgrading the level of the suffering blacks and provide them equal rights. Troy used to do a menial job of trash collector and in those times the blacks were not given a pay raise or a promotion. They were discriminated from whites as they were deprived of even the basic necessities which were depicted in the family of Troy how they were managing somehow to meet the ends. The developments in the Civil rights era were also evident as the leaders and people working for the NAACP work against the segregation practices and filed lawsuits which were the building stones of many new reforms for the blacks. Troy also seemed to be affected by that as he asked his boss to promote him to become a driver and during the course of the play, he had got himself promoted to a driver of the garbage trucks. Thus it was evident that developments were taking place during the 1950s and early 1960s.
The Civil rights...