August Wilson's: "Fences"

2475 words 10 pages
August Wilson’s: “Fences”

In “Fences”, August Wilson tells the story of an ex-negro league baseball hero,
Troy Maxon. Troy is a bitter man, withering away in his own hatred for the way things
“are”, as well as his inability to see the world has changed. Troy has an “iron grip” on his family in the beginning, however as the story progresses the family breaks loose of the physical and emotional ties that are holding them down. Wilson uses character, setting, and symbolism to set the scene for Troy’s inner torment. Through characterization Wilson introduces Troy. Troy is a garbage collector. The year is 1957, which
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Wilson uses traditional black dialect to portray a sense of authenticity to his audience. Troy’s struggle to make a home for himself and his family is a burden on every African American man of the time. Troy says, “I give you the lint from my pockets. I give you my sweat and my blood. I ain’t got no tears. I done spent them” (1593; act I; scene 3). Troy feels a sense of obligation to his family, yet in all of this he has lost his own identity. In
“Baseball as history and myth in August Wilson’s: ‘Fences’”, Susan Koprince makes the observation, “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” (Koprince). Troy feels the world has given him little in return for his sacrifice of his dream to play major league baseball. The racial boundaries of jobs in 1957 are evident when he is at first unable to drive the truck, because that is a job reserved for the white man. Troy says, “Told him,
‘what’s the matter, don’t I count? You think only white fellows got sense enough to drive a truck? That ain’t no paper job! Hell, anybody can drive a truck’” (1574; act I; scene 1). By this time in Troy’s

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