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Fences By August Wilson Essay

909 words - 4 pages

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. When the issue comes up of Cory having a bright future ahead of him if he joins the football team, Troy refuses to allow him. The root of this decision lies in his own experience of not being allowed to join the baseball team due to the racial prejudices of his time. He does not realize that times have changed and because of his own past, he ruins his son?s life too. His wife, Rose, also plays a big part in the way the story develops. Troy has an affair with another woman called Alberta. When Rose finds out about the affair, she is devastated. In this situation we find out what her own hopes and dreams were. All she wanted was a happy home and family life because of her unstable past. The theme of this story is how a black family, in the late fifties to early sixties, faces the problems that many families are faced with, but in their own unique ways. This theme can be traced and observed through the insecurities and resulting behaviors of the two main characters, Troy and Rose Maxson.

     The main character of this play, Troy
Maxson, considers death to be a part of the
baseball game of life. In one part of the book
he gives a description of how death came to
him when he was in the hospital, and he told
it to return another time. Death is one of his
main insecurities. As he gets older he feels
death coming closer and closer. It seems as
if, just to hold death in abeyance by trying
to feel young again, he has an affair with
this other woman named Alberta. Death strikes
closer to home base for Troy, when his
mistress dies while giving birth to a baby
girl. At this point in the book he makes a
deal with death. He says to it, ? Ain?t nobody
else got nothing to do with this. This is
between you and me. Man to man. You stay on
the other side of that fence until you ready
for me.? (page 77). The fence is very symbolic
in this situation. It symbolizes his
insecurity about death and how he has put up
these imaginary fences for protection. It
leaves us with a very clear image of...

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