Torn Between Two Decisions
A wise British novelist once wrote, “Nobody but he who has felt it, can receive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time.” In the drama Fences, August Wilson uses stylistic devices to characterize how the main character, Troy Maxson, is pulled in conflicting directions by compelling desires, ambitions, obligations and influences.
Wilson purposely creates a play set in the middle of the uproar in 1957. African Americans were finally receiving equality and dignity that they desired and hoped for, for many years. Perhaps Troy Maxson does not want to accept the changes in the world around him because that would cause him to accept the death of his own dreams. His dreams of becoming a professional baseball player shatters away due to segregation. “Times have changed since you was playing baseball, Troy.” Troy’s youth and past is what shapes his present as he gains a certain philosophy about death of his dreams and how it “ain’t nothing but a fastball on the outside corner.” Troy’s purpose in the novel is to show Cory that taking the easy way out might be understandable because Troy can relate to the riskiness of choosing sports and leading it to a horrible career. It informs to the meaning of the work as a tragedy as Troy is finally accepting the past and moving on from such a horrific past. In some ways putting the death to his regret and misery. August Wilson did not name his play, Fences, simply because the dramatic action depends strongly on the building of a fence in Maxson’s backyard. The characters lives change around the fence-building project, which serves as both a literal and a figurative device. In the eyes of Troy and Rose, the Fence symbolizes protection from the corrupt society that surrounds them, but it contrasts their beliefs as it also symbolizes imprisonment as Cory is unable to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document