Baseball Motif in Fences

Topics: Baseball, Strikeout, Strike zone Pages: 2 (617 words) Published: May 18, 2011
In Fences, August Wilson uses the motif of baseball to at first develop Troy’s character, and then he uses it to relate to vital themes, relationships between characters, and conflicts throughout the play. Once the plot becomes more developed, Wilson uses the motif within Troy’s speech to allude to significant themes, such as the recurring theme of death. Secondly, in the duration of the play Troy uses metaphors about baseball when relating his relationships with other characters, for example, he compares the relationship him and Rose share to a simple baseball game. Finally, Troy applies baseball to the conflict between him and his son by regarding Cory’s every move as just another baseball play. After Troy was pushed out of the major leagues, the only way he could cope with his broken dream was by comparing baseball to his everyday life as if he was still playing the game. To start off, Troy follows through with the motif of baseball in one of his opening lines when he states, “Death ain’t nothing but a fastball on the outside corner” (15). In this passage Troy compares death to an easy pitch, which shows the audience that Troy believes himself to be an invincible man when staring into the eyes of his own fate. This is not only an insight on Troy’s qualities, but also serves as foreshadowing of future events. In addition to that, the play ends with an almost literal meaning of the metaphor. Troy was just taking a few easy swings when death decided to hit him in the form of a heart attack. The motif of baseball both started the play with character development of Troy, and then ended it with the death of him. Secondly, the motif of baseball appears again to show Troy’s feelings towards his marriage with Rose and towards his affair. Troy explained that since he has been married, he has been stuck on first base in the same boring place, but when Alberta came along “[he] got to thinking that if [he] tried … [he] might just be able to steal second” (67). In this...
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