“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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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
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“Fences” by August Wilson, is a play that evolves and revolves around the main character Troy Maxon. Set in Pittsburgh in 1950’s Troy is amongst a generation of blacks who have fled the South in search of a better future in the North, but end up disillusioned and mired in an environment of impoverishment, deprived of opportunities and resources.
The prevailing tension during the 1960’s and 70’s which measured the African American struggle for the same rights, are well depicted through the characters in the play. The 1980s observed a cold struggle to morph the two cultures in order to erase the difference between races and people.
The prevailing tension during the 1960’s and 70’s which measured the African American struggle for the same rights, are well depicted through the characters in the play. The 1980’s observed a cold struggle to morph the two cultures in order to erase the difference between races and people. The African Americans were dissimilar to any other races or the whites. They were special in their culture and history. The play uses literary devices like personification, metaphors and lots of other symbols which powered it to unravel the conflict of African Americans.
They want the king to provide a solution to the situation, and replies by telling them that he had sent his brother, creon, to the oracle to find out what was the problem (Grene 12). When Creon comes from the oracle, he conveys the message that the plague will terminate on condition that those involved in the murderer of the former King of the land receives punishment for his deeds.
It is perhaps this background that largely informed their preoccupations with the themes of upward mobility and the American Dream. Indeed, writer Lorrie Moore called Wilson’s play ‘Fences’ “an African-American Death of a Salesmen”. Additionally, writing on the notion of this dream in ‘Death of a Salesman’ it’s that it noted that, “the post-industrial capitalist boom was the dream that constituted hard work, success, money, and freedom” (Masinski, xiv).
According to Robert Brustein, 'August Wilson larger purpose depends on his conviction that Troy's potential was stunted by centuries of racist oppression. "Fences" takes place during a period of time when the fights against segregation are barely blossoming results'.
Wilson wrote several plays throughout his life and he won a Pulitzer for “Fences” (Kittel).
Wilson grew up in Pittsburg, PA and dropped out of school at the age of 15. He was self-educated after that period but he was very active in the theater. He
The author has made use of symbolism to develop various themes in the paper (Anderson 18). This makes the process of communicating discrimination easy for him to bring out the issue of discrimination clearly in the United States. The author ensures that the audience
American Drama is a genre of English Literature that deals with a variety of thematic concerns where the dramatists incorporate and subtly depict human problems. Moreover it is interesting to note that this field of literature also provided the dramatists with an opportunity to bring into light the life stories of the Blacks
This paper argues that the piano symbolizes the connection between the African-American historical experience and the mystical world of the sacral and the spectral. The play’s action is motivated by disagreement over how to most effectively use history, as something which would honor those that happened in the past, or as basis for the present.
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