Fences by August Wilson

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Fences by August Wilson presents a slice-of-life in a black tenement in Pittsburgh. The play is set in the late 1950s through 1965. The main character, Troy Maxson is a garbage collector who has taken a great price in keeping his family together and providing for them.

Troy's rebellion and frustration set the tone for the play as he struggles for fairness in society, which seems to offer none. In his struggle he builds barriers between himself and his family. Troy also wrestles with the idea of death and claims that he sees death as nothing but a fastball, something he can handle, thus setting up a barrier so that he can handle death in his own way. The baseball metaphor is used in relation to death throughout the play.

Troy has a son named Cory, and the relationship between them becomes strained through Troys effort to control Cory, the way Troy's father did for him. Troy struggles with a resurfacing past that he sees through his relationship with his two sons. Strong feeling of pride and independence on both sides complicates their relationship and the dreams of there family.

Troy was also married to a beautiful woman named Rose. Troy was not a flawless protagonist, in that his relationship with his wife, Rose is challenged at every turn. Eventually, his sexual infidelity and subsequent child by another women (which Rose cares for) causes the marriage to be destroyed, but because Rose has no where else to go, she is forced to stay with Troy. Rose does this most likely due her barrier of being an old-fashioned woman that follows her husband to death.

All the ironies in the play, Troy argued for blacks to drive the garbage trucks but he doesn't know how to drive or even have a license. The truck driving fiasco, represents a major theme in Troy's life, when he reaches a barrier, he will try and go by it by any means necessary, even if he has to lie. By the end of Fences every character accepts Raynell (Troy's daughter) and Cory at the U.S. Marines...
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