“Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity. “-Stephen King. August Wilson’s play, “Fences”, explores an African American family dealing with poverty, segregation, racism etc. in the late 1950s. The play narrows in on Troy Maxson, an African American man who had trouble facing the harsh reality of not fulfilling his dream of playing baseball. Throughout the play, Wilson created a remarkable imagery of his main characters building a fence surrounding their house. The fence represented a unique expression for each main character of “Fences”.
A fence represented nurturing and comfort for Rose, that’s why throughout the play she push the ideology of having a fence in their yard. The Inability to finish the fence from Troy and Cory started the fall of Troy and Rose marriage and the family relationship. Troy Maxson had a brutal and vicious childhood. When he was only eight, Troy mother left him and his ten siblings. Not because she was afraid of raising eleven kids, according to Troy it was because of his father evilness, “My mama couldn’t stand him. Couldn’t stand that evilness. She run off when I was about eight.
She sneaked off one night after he had gone to sleep. Told me she was coming back for me. I ain’t never seen her no more. ” (Wilson: Fences Act 1 Scene 4 pg. 1137) The abandonment and dishonesty from his mother conditioned him to not accept any nurturing aspect from any women. Troy subconscious mind was not on board with building a fence because it represented a false expression he never received from his mother. Throughout the play, August Wilson truly never shed light on Rose upbringing. But he gave us hints on how the essence of the character came to be. Wilson mother was name after a flower,
Daisy, just like Rose. There’s a reason why they are name after flowers because “Flowers, seeds and planting comprise a motif that Wilson uses in Fences to represent nurturing, loving, kindness, and care” (SparkNotes Editors). Rose was very passionate in showing her family the love she had towards them. That’s why having a fence built would be the best expression Rose can give her family that there will always be support and comfort around them. By looking at both characters (Troy and Rose), any reader can see that Rose push the idea of having a fence built.
The ironic hing is Troy and Cory believed it was just another chore to do around the house but it took someone outside the family to see the deeper meaning of the fence in which was Troy fellow friend from prison, Bono. Bono is a unique character because he looks up to troy as a leader and he truly idolize him. But he also sees right through his crazy antics. He’s the transparency for Troy ignorance and stupidity. For example, when troy didn’t understand why Rose wanted a fence, Bono said “Some people build fences to keep people out… and other people build fences to keep people in.
Rose wants to hold on to you all. She loves you. ” (Wilson: Fences Act 2 Scene 1 pg. 1142) Bono serves as a good conscious for troy throughout the play but even Bono couldn’t talk troy out of his affair. Troy starts his own tragedy once he committed adultery and got another woman pregnant. Troy realized how bad the situation he created was once he notice Rose was not behind him. Even after all of the crazy dramatic outbursts of Troy starring death in his eyes, Rose never left his side but once Rose heard the news of Troy becoming a father, she reached her breaking point.
Troy was hit with the harsh reality of not having a wife anymore once his “mistress Alberta dies in childbirth, Troy begs Rose to be a mother to the baby girl. Rose tells her husband l’ll take care of your baby for you. cause… she innocent. and you can’t visit the sins of the father upon the child. A motherless child had got a hard time.. From right now this child got a mother. But you a womanless man. ” (Shmoop Editors) This exact moment is when Troy lost a magnificent wife that loved and care for him.
Troy played the biggest role in destroying the marriage him and Rose hared but Rose played a part in the destruction as well. When I think about Rose, two words come to mind which are passive aggressive. Within their relationship, Rose never laid her foot down with authority. I h stly believe if Rose was more “assertive,” (Enote Editors) the fence would have been built. But her Idea was not to go directly to troy to ask or tell him to build the fence but rather to throw subtle hints within each conversation they shared to remind him to work on the fence.
Trying to sneakily box in a fifty three year old man that has been mentally freed since he ran away from home at the age of ourteen years old, was a bad Idea. One example of Rose being passive aggressive is when Troy gets up to leave the house, Rose asked him “Where you going off to? You been running out of here every Saturday for weeks. I thought you was gonna work on this fence? ” (Wilson: Fences Act 1 Scene 2 pg. 1126) Troy said he’s going to the bar to catch the baseball game. Once he came back Rose immediately ask him “what was the final score? ” he didn’t answer the question instead he distracts her with flirtation.
Instead of Rose telling Troy she knows what’s going on, she acts oblivious to the whole situation. Maybe she didn’t know what troy was doing? Maybe she didn’t want to see her marriage end? I know one thing that’s for certain, her being passive aggressive played a big part in the downfall of their relationship. August Wilson “Fences” was remarkable. The main character Troy Maxson was a unique character throughout the play because he was both an antagonist and protagonist.
The Inability to finish the fence from Troy and Cory started the fall of Troy and Rose marriage and the family relationship. The fence appears finished only in the final scene of the play, when Troy ies and the family reunites. The wholeness of the fence comes to mean the strength of the Maxson family and ironically the strength of the man who tore them apart, who also brings them together one more time, in death. ” (SparkNotes Editors) I notice that each main character in fences went against conformity. Cory went against conformity when he told his father he was going to play football, African American children at the time was condition to not even dream about playing professional sports.
Rose went against conformity when she wanted to have a fence uilt around the house, to display her love, nurturing, and support to her family in a deeper subconscious way. Last but not least, Troy went against conformity when he gave “Death” three chances to catch him, when most people don’t like giving death one chance to catch them. Throughout this semester, I notice that most of the short stories and poems we read, the prominent theme was going against the normality of society to escape for freedom. That’s one thing I will take away from this semester, going against conformity can maybe lead me towards freedom.