Fences Gender Roles

Powerful Essays
Gender roles are defined as “the role or behavior learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms,” (Oxford Dictionary). Over time, gender roles have drastically changed in the United States and many other places. In recent history, men and women had completely different expectations and standards to which they were held. Men were considered to be superior to women in many ways. During this time a patriarchal lifestyle was common. Men had the ultimate say in every situation, had all of the power, and were often very controlling, since they were considered the “head of the household.” Women were treated as objects with very limited and specific roles such as cooking, cleaning, as well as taking…show more content…
This means that certain people were not permitted to have specific jobs or go to certain places because of their socioeconomic status. Most people in the 1950’s did not have high paying jobs or a good education. For example, Troy Maxson, in August Wilson’s play Fences, is an African American man who works for the sanitation department as a garbage man. Troy was previously a baseball star in the Negro Leagues. He learned how to play baseball in jail, which is where he met Jim Bono. Mr. Bono is also a garbage man who has been friends with Troy for more than thirty…show more content…
Bono asks Troy about a girl named Alberta. Bono accuses Troy of eyeing her and buying her multiple drinks, but Troy claims he eyes all the women and that buying drinks for someone does not mean anything. Rose Maxson, who is Troy’s wife of eighteen years, comes out onto the porch where the men are sitting. Rose is ten years younger than Troy. She does all of the common chores such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. She is a prime example of a typical housewife in the 1950’s. Rose is very devoted to Troy and loves her family very much even though Troy does not appreciate her like he should. Troy exemplifies his male dominance by the way he talks and treats Rose. Troy calls Rose “woman” when he wants her attention throughout the play. He does this in front of others and treats her like his
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