Research paper on Fences by August Wilson - Essay Example

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'Fences' by August Wilson is a prominent example of African-American drama. It brought Pulitzer price to the author in 1987. In his play, Wilson creates the character of Troy Marxon, a person with weird ideas and individual qualities, whose life can be defined as a disappointment…
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Research paper on Fences by August Wilson
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Download file to see previous pages This situation is obviously described in 'Fences' by Troy's frustration and dissatisfaction with his existence. To reach clarity of description. Wilson builds his play in a way that allows problems emerge gradually and logically, so that the reader perceives the problems as close-knit with the thoughts and emotions of the characters. The present paper discusses plot structure of the drama, outlining key elements allowing the reader to dove into the world of small fractions separated by fences.
The play is divided into two acts. Act one consists of four scenes, and Act two contains five. The play begins on Friday, which is a payday for Troy and Bono, Troy's bosom pal. Troy works as a garbage collector, but he is not allowed to drive a garbage lorry, because he is an African-American (Wilson, 2000). The first scene is probably the longest scene in the play, since the author uses this scene to foreshadow the vital elements of the plot and to outline those elements which will be repeated or contrasted later in the drama, allowing Wilson to create a sense that time and the characters have altered. The same scene introduces the mane racial issue, racial intolerance and discrimination and related inferiority complex. Brownie's discomfiture over having a watermelon points to racist prejudicial perception of African Americans, who, in turn, begin to see themselves as a 'second-rate social group'.
With regard to With regard to the whole structure of the play, the first scene sets up basic patterns. Troy and Bono's friendship is close, since they borrow words from each other's language in their conversation. "This is a technique playwrights have used for centuries to create the feeling that the characters are harmonious" (Bertin, 1986, p.176). The two men frequently use the word 'nigger' as an appealing term in order to "reverse an originally derogatory word used by a majority to denigrate a group into a word that the oppressed group uses for themselves with a positive connotation, lessening the power of its insult" (ibid, p.177).
Furthermore, the conversation sets up plot elements - for instance, Bono asks Troy about his relationship with a woman named Alberta, and Troy, in turn, inevitably confesses to this relationship. The scene also portrays Troy's bad temper and his personal problems, associated with his hard life and the job he has to perform, because there are no other professions available for a 'nigger' (Sanders, 1997).
The second scene introduces Troy's family: his wife, Rose, and sons -Cory and Lyons. Cory is a good football player, so he begs his father to let him play in the League, in which he has been recently recruited, but Troy, recollecting his own failure to become a sportsman due to the racial issues, requires of Cory to leave the League. Furthermore, the scene introduces one more character - Troy's brother Gabriel, who is brain damaged from a war injury and perceives himself as angel Gabriel.
The scene allows the reader a short glimpse into Troy's inner world: his sharp criticism of hopes, dreams and interests. Troy criticizes Rose for her interest in playing numbers (Wilson, 2000), a game that resembles a lottery for its expensiveness, even though he is completely aware of the fact that his affair with Alberta takes much more finances (Sanders, 1997). Thus, he displays his egoistic treatment of his family: Troy is insensitive to the needs of his children and wife, and the first ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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