3/5/14 English 201
A. What is the symbolism of the title of the play Fences?
The author August Wilson uses the symbol of a “fence” in his play Fences throughout numerous occasions. Three of the most important occasions fences are symbolized in the play are by Rose and Troy’s relationship, Troy and Cory’s relationship, as well as Troy versus Death. Throughout the play, characters create “fences” symbolically and physically to be protected or to protect. Examples such as, Rose protecting herself from Troy, and Troy protecting himself from Death. Fences focuses on the symbol of a fence which helps the reader understand the events taking place. The characters' lives mentioned change around the project of building the fence, which serves as both a literal and a figurative symbol.
Throughout the play it is clear how “fences” are used to protect the characters mentioned. Early on, Rose protects herself by singing, “Jesus, be a fence all around me every day. Jesus, I want you to protect me as I travel on my way” (Wilson Pg.1380). By Rose singing this song, one can see Rose's desire for the fence to be built so she can have a stronger sense of security for her family. It is possible that Rose asked Troy and Cory to build the fence as attempt to help the two to bond. She feels the distance growing between them and is trying to keep her family together. Rose may instinctually feel that her family is disintegrating, and the fence is her way of trying to symbolically hold it together. For example, Bono says, "Some people build fences to keep people out . . . and other people build fences to keep people in. Rose wants to hold on to you all. She loves you" (Wilson Pg.). Troy assumes the fence is meant to keep something out, but It takes Bono to make Troy see that a fence can have the opposite effect.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document