Fences Symbolism Essay

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Most titles are significant to the story it is portraying. This is the case in the play Fences by August Wilson. The title of this play has both a symbolic and literal interpretation to the play. The character that shows this interpretation the most is Troy. Other minor characters show this interpretation also. The title, Fences, is both literal and symbolic. Throughout the play, Troy is building a fence with his son Cory. However, Troy procrastinates building the fence and goes to Taylor’s all the time. Cory says, “ He been saying that the last four or five Saturdays, and then he don’t never do nothing, but go down to Taylor’s” (29). When going to Taylor’s, Troy is really going to see his mistress. Him neglecting to build the fence can be…show more content…
The fence symbolizes Rose and Troy’s differences in their personalities because they both use it in different ways. Bono says, “Some people build fences to keep people out...and other people build fences to keep people in. Rose wants to hold onto you all. She loves you” (61). This quote shows that Rose may have wanted the fence to be built to help Troy and Cory bond. She wanted to keep them close for them to work their differences out. However, the fence ended up doing the complete opposite. The fence split Troy and Cory apart. The fence was Rose’s way to symbolically hold her family together. After learning of her husband’s mistress, she wanted Troy to call it off and stay with her. Maybe she thought if the fence was finished it would keep Troy away from Alberta, his mistress. However, once his mistress had her baby the fence kept the remembrance of the affair inside. Rose had to take care of the baby because Alberta died while giving birth. Troy’s baby, Raynell, was the living figure of the affair and it was inside the fence for Rose to always think about. The fence did not serve any of its purposes. It was supposed to keep Troy and Cory close but split them apart. It was supposed to keep Troy away from the affair but it brought the living figure of the affair not only inside the fence but inside the
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