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Fences By August Wilson - Research Paper Example

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“Fences” by August Wilson Set in the 1950s, August Wilson’s “Fences” portrays the life tribulations of an African American family struggling to make ends meet. Indeed, the play foregrounds the difficult living conditions of black people during this pre-civil rights era when they had to face racial segregation and were denied many career opportunities…
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Fences By August Wilson

Download file to see previous pages... The experiences Troy Maxson had to go through in his early life and his failure to realize his American Dream have a negative impact on his life and family. This frustration makes him unable to forgive and then gain maturity. Wilson portrays the painful experience of Troy Maxson whose American Dream turns out to be a failure. Despite his talent as a baseball player, he faces racism and segregation that prevent him from making a successful career in the Negro League and, therefore, achieve his American Dream. The failure of his dream transforms him into a bitter person who realizes the limitations of his opportunities. His shift from a Negro League player to a garbage collector reveals terribly the downfall he has to go through and the forms of careers America reserves to people of his color. This critic sums up his experience: “For Troy, however, the American dream has turned into a prolonged nightmare. Instead of limitless opportunity, he has come to know racial discrimination and poverty. At age 53, this former Negro League hero is a garbage collector who ekes out a meager existence, working arduously to support his family and living from hand to mouth” (Koprince). This failure of his American Dream explains his strong and definite refusal to allow his son to embrace the career of baseball player. The memory of his own painful experience and his awareness of the racial barriers ahead justify his opposition. He wants to avoid his son the same humiliation and failure he has to undergo. Troy’s life has always been filled with much drama and painful experiences from his birth to his death. Born in an African American family that faces the hardships related to the social realities of the period, he does not enjoy much joy. The family supposed to nurture and protect him was the first one to let him down and deceive him. The actions of his own biological parents were the first deceptions he had experienced in life, which explains his departure from home. Denied security and protection from his own home, his refuge in the streets will not offer him a better opportunity but lead him straight to jail. This article indicates: “What should a realist expect of Troy Maxson, who was abandoned by his mother at age eight, fled a brutal, lustful father at age fourteen, began to steal for a living, and served fifteen years on a murder charge? One can only hope for some measure of good, and Troy exceeds a realist's expectations” (Wessling). These painful experiences do not prepare Troy to become a responsible man, which explains the various struggles he faces to raise a family himself. His whole life has not been easy because he had to face one obstacle after another and learn to defend himself against any aggression and injustice. His concern to defend himself and his attempts to attain justice for himself and blacks in general make him a rebel. This author argues: “Even in Wilson's fictive world of 1957, he is regarded as a ‘troublemaker’ for complaining that black garbage workers should be able to drive the trucks, just like white men. Not only was Troy ‘born too early,’ therefore, but Wilson portrays him as lacking the conciliatory temperament to be one of the first players to break baseball's color barrier” (Koprince). These claims grant him the status of a pre-civil rights actor who denounces injustice and fights for more consideration. The painful ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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