Analysis Of August Wilson's Fences

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Set in the late 1950s, August Wilson’s Fences follows a man plagued by the demons of his past. Tinging the cast of characters with the darkness of the protagonist’s personality, Wilson creates a play that illustrates not only the struggle of growing up in a prejudiced world but also the struggle of overcoming one’s own history. Nevertheless, the true brilliance of Wilson’s Fences lies within the characters themselves, and how Wilson uses the characters to illuminate his theme: every life impacts another. Upon the opening of the novel, the reader meets Troy Maxson, Fences protagonist. From the beginning, Troy is a tough character defined by his foul mouth and healthy disposition towards anger, yet, the reader also discovers a gentler side…show more content…
At the beginning of the novel, the reader learns that Cory is being offered a football scholarship to college. Troy mentions multiple times throughout the novel his discontent with his son playing football, and as it comes to light that Cory reduced his job hours in order to play, Troy’s opinion of Cory playing sports degrades even further. As soon as Troy learns of Cory’s decision to lessen his work hours, he commands Cory to beg for his job back. On page 37, Troy says “You go on down there to that A&P and see if you can get your job back. If you can’t do both… then you quit the football team.” Troy’s lack of concern for Cory’s football- an activity Cory fully believes is his only chance of accomplishing his goals for life- creates a rift between the two, and as the play progresses, the tensions between the two men reaches a fever pitch. At a climatic point in their relationship, Cory arrives at the Maxson household in a rage and demands an explanation from his father. Troy reveals- much to Cory chagrin- that he called Cory’s coach and removed from the team, effectively ending Cory’s chances of attending to college on a sports scholarship. When questioned about his decision, Troy utilizes the same excuse he expressed earlier in the novel, most clearly on page 39 with “I decided seventeen years ago that boy wasn’t getting involved in no sports. Not after what they did to me in the
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