Theme Of Racism In Fences

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In August Wilson’s playwright Fences, the narrator portrays racism in a social system, in the workplace, and in sports, which ultimately affects Troy’s aspirations. Troy Maxson is constantly facing the racism that is engraved into the rules of racial hierarchy –– fair and unfair, spoken and unspoken. Troy suffers many years of racism when he plays in the Negro major Baseball League; therefore he decides to protect Cory from ever experiencing those blockades in his drive for success. In the end, although Troy is always driving to obtain agency, Troy always succumbs to the rules of racism because those racist ideologies are too hard to overcome.
Throughout the play, Troy is perpetually confronting the racist social system that displays unspoken
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Whenever Troy is holding a conversation with Bono, they are usually discussing their experiences working as trash collectors. Contrary to the popular belief that being a trash collector is the lowest status job, there is a hierarchical system engraved into the works of a garbage man – the driver and the rubbish collector. Wilson depicts this racial hierarchical system when he writes, “you got white mens driving and the colored lifting” (2). Wilson’s choice to distinguish the act of “driving, which exhibits control, from the act of “lifting, which implies manual labor, ultimately reveals that Troy and Bono are destined to do the unwanted work of White men. There are no rules that explicitly state that White men have to be drivers and Black men have to be rubbish collectors; however, there are unspoken rules that have an expectation that those jobs are held to a racial standard. Wilson illustrates Troy’s anger when he writes “Hell, anybody can drive a truck” (2). Although Troy is not qualified to drive a garbage truck –– he does not have his driver’s license –– he still believes that he is qualified enough to partake in a White man’s job. Troy is completely aware that he cannot lawfully drive a vehicle; hence, he ponders possible qualifications for being capable of driving a vehicle. He determines that “you think only white fellow got sense enough to drive a truck” (2). Wilson use of the human-like quality of having “sense,” the fundamental perception of all external stimulus, depicts a baseline expectation of driving a garbage truck. All humans experience senses, so by promoting this idea of fundamental ability to drive a truck–– having sense is enough to drive –– allows Troy to believe that are serious inequalities between White men and Black men in the
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