What does the fence mean?
In reality, people have certain things that they carry around or have in their homes that will give them what they need to be in a comforting state of mind. In the play Fences by August Wilson, this item happens to literally be a partially built fence around a dirt yard with a raggedy looking house in the center of it. Each family member sees the fence a little differently and provides a certain symbolic perspective on what it has to do with their family. Cory, who is Troy and Rose’s son, sees this fence as just another chore that his mom and dad are constantly making him go out of his way to help build and complete this fence. He doesn’t necessarily have much meaning behind how he sees it, but just gets annoyed when his parents ask him to help build it. In connection to this, Troy states to Cory, “Your first chore is to help me with this fence on Saturday. Everything else comes after that” (Wilson 31). Instead of going to football practice, Troy is making Cory help him build this fence. Troy wants Cory to work hard and have a good future, and by not letting him play football, he’ll have a better sense on knowledge in the real world. On the other hand, Cory’s mom Rose has a different perspective on it. She states, “Jesus, be a fence around me every day. Jesus, I want you to protect me as I travel on my way” (Wilson 21). Rose sees the fence as a holy protective shield amongst herself, her house, and her family. She will feel safe when she sees the fence being built and protecting her from this. Finally, Troy takes much pride in this fence, which is why he always is working on it or having Cory help him with it. Since the fence takes ultimately ten years to finally be completed, it symbolizes the partially built factor. The fence represents a wall that hold it’s the family and keeps unwanted things out. However since it is only partially built, problems are still probable to come in and invade their family.
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