Curbs and Fences: An analysis of Fences
A symbol is an object or image that one consciously or unconsciously uses to represent repressed thoughts, feelings, or impulses. That is made clear August Wilson’s Fences; each character’s internal relationship for the purpose of the fence is a reflection of each character’s point of view on their life and their mental position throughout the scenes of the play. Although the environment around Troy, Bono, Rose, and Cory had drastic changes throughout the play, their symbolic meaning of the fence does not.
The constant refreshment of three symbols leads one to believe that Troy has a personal connection to all three. Readers are first introduced to Troy and his best friend Bono as they are having what seems to be a normal Friday night pow-wow. We quickly get an idea that Troy may be a baseball fan from his vivid use of baseball terms in regular conversation and as time goes on readers learn he was in the Negro Leagues once upon a time. Troy is the character who provided the most symbolism in Fences. He refers to Death, the Devil, and the fence quite frequently. In Act one Troy states, “Death ain’t nothing. I done seen him. Done wrestled with him” (Wilson 10). This is clearly a line of symbolism, Troy did not literally mean he wrestled with Death, but maybe he was using Death to represent things or near-death experiences from his past. Troy grew up without a mother and with an abusive and emotionless father. An example of a near death experience here is the altercation between Troy and his father when he was fourteen, his father could have killed him but instead he gave him a whipping and left him (Wilson 50-53). On the other hand this could also be representative of the beginning of Troy’s “wrestle” with Death as well as his run-ins with the Devil. At fourteen Troy is out in a huge world on his own and begins thieving for survival, and then it was robbery to support his family. Troy’s decision to start a...
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