How Does August Wilson Use Language In Fences

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Fences by August Wilson is a play set in 1950s Pittsburgh which chronicles the life of an African American family. Language is a crucial component of the play, revealing the characters, conflicts, and meaning of the story. In Fences, Troy is a strong character who uses his language to assert his dominance, especially over his son, Cory. Troy treats Cory with a harsh exterior, which masks his deep hopes for a better future for his son. Troy talks in a way to Cory to scare him and show his power by asking rhetorical questions and using crude language. One scene with particular tension is when Cory asks his father why he never liked him. Troy responds, “Liked you? Who the hell say I got to like you? What law is there say I got to like you? Wanna stand up in my face and ask a damn fool-ass-question like that. Talking about liking somebody. Come here, boy, when I talk to you” …show more content…

He tells his wife, “I don’t want him to be like me! I want him to move as far away from my life as he can get. You the only decent thing that ever happened to me. I wish him that. But I don’t wish him a thing else from my life” (481). He has a softer tone in the dialogue with Rose which shows that he does care about Cory. He is tough on Cory because he doesn’t want his son to experience the same things as he, as a black male in the mid-century, endured. He believes that a sturdy hand will lead his son in the right direction and prepare him for a harsh world. Troy tells Rose, “He’s got to make his own way. I made mine. Ain’t nobody gonna hold his hand when he get out there in that world” (482). Because of his own disappointments, Troy has adopted a bitter, yet realistic outlook on life, which he uses to guide his son. He did not have much help growing up and believes that his son could use a dose of his reality and tough

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