Fences is a play by August Wilson that was first performed in 1985. The play tells the story of Troy Maxson, a 53-year-old African American man who works as a garbage collector in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Troy is a bitter man who is resentful of his lot in life. He is also a proud man who has difficulty expressing his feelings.
Troy’s wife, Rose, is a forgiving woman who tries to see the good in people. She is also a strong woman who stands up to her husband when she feels she needs to.
Troy’s son, Cory, is a talented young man who has the potential to become a professional baseball player. However, Troy does not want his son to follow in his footsteps and become a garbage collector.
Troy’s daughter, Raynell, is the product of an affair Troy had with a woman named Alberta. Troy is not particularly close to Raynell, but he does provide for her financially.
Troy’s brother, Gabriel, was injured in World War II and now has a metal plate in his head. Gabriel lives with Troy and Rose, and Troy often has to take care of him.
Troy is a complex character who is capable of both good and bad deeds. He is a man who is struggling to deal with his own personal demons. Fences is a play that explores the themes of family, responsibility, and race.
Wilson’s Fences is a drama about an African-American family, which focuses mainly on Troy Maxson and his struggles as a black person in a largely white community. The plot focuses on numerous themes while also placing an emphasis on connections between Troy and his family. As the tale revolves around Troy, we see that many of his action begin to influence those around him, including his friends, relatives, and loved ones.
Troy is a very proud and headstrong man who has trouble showing love and emotion. He is an ex-convict and has spent most of his life working manual labor jobs. He is very resentful of white people, due to the fact that he was never able to achieve his dreams because of the color of his skin. This resentment leads him to be an absentee father and husband. Troy’s wife, Rose, is a kind and compassionate woman who loves her family deeply. She works hard to hold her family together despite Troy’s infidelity and emotional distance.
Their son, Cory, is a talented athlete with a bright future ahead of him. However, Troy disapproves of Cory’s interest in sports and does not want him to end up like him, working a manual labor job for the rest of his life. This disapproval drives a wedge between father and son and eventually leads to Cory moving out of the house. Troy’s brother, Gabriel, is an amputee who was injured in World War II. He lives with Troy and Rose and is dependent on them for support.
Troy’s best friend, Bono, is a loyal confidant who has known Troy for many years. He is always there for Troy, whether he needs someone to talk to or help with a problem. Fences also features a minor character named Raynell, Troy and Rose’s young daughter. She provides comic relief throughout the play and is a symbol of hope for the future.
Rose is the heart of the Maxson family. She is a devoted wife and mother who works hard to keep her family together. Despite Troy’s infidelity and emotional distance, she continues to love him and stand by him. She is a compassionate person who is always there for her family, no matter what. Cory is a talented athlete with a bright future ahead of him. However, his relationship with his father is strained because Troy disapproves of Cory’s interest in sports.
The marriage between Troy Maxson and Rose Maxson was one of the most well-known breakups in the play. Rose, a wonderful mother in Wilson’s Fences, is a character that stays strong for her family despite their problems. In Fences, she is a mother who demonstrates strength and selflessness, putting her own interests on the backburner to protect her family.
Although her husband Troy Maxson was unfaithful and had a child outside of their marriage, Rose remained by his side and fought for their relationship. When Bono, Troy’s friend, confronts him about his infidelity, Troy tries to justify his actions by saying that he was not getting what he needed at home. Bono then tells Troy that “Rose is a good woman” (Wilson 3.1.18) and that he should appreciate her more. This shows that even though Rose may not have been perfect, she was still a good wife who loved her husband unconditionally.
Throughout the play, there are several instances where Rose has to be the voice of reason for Troy. For example, when Cory gets into a fight with Troy and Troy wants to hit him, Rose steps in and tells him that he cannot hit Cory because he is his son. She says, “You got a boy that looks up to you. You was all the time talkin’ ’bout what a man got to do. Well, here it is. Do it” (Wilson 2.3.116-119).
In this moment, Rose is not only being a good mother to Cory but also a good wife to Troy. She is trying to help him see that hitting Cory will not make him a better man; instead, it will only damage their relationship.
Rose is also a very sacrificial character. When Bono comes over to Troy’s house and Troy offers him a drink, Bono declines because he is going to AA meetings. Troy then asks Rose to go get him a beer and she does, even though she does not approve of Troy drinking. She brings him the beer and tells him, “I don’t like it no more than you do” (Wilson 1.1.38). Rose knows that Troy likes to drink and that it causes problems in their relationship, but she still gets him the beer because she loves him and wants to make him happy.
Rose is a strong woman who loves her husband and children unconditionally. She is able to see the good in Troy despite his flaws, and she is always there for her family when they need her. Rose is a true example of a selfless and sacrificial wife and mother.
As the play progresses, we see that Troy’s marital, infidelity, and family decisions gradually destroy the connection between him and Rose, eventually affecting her position as a housewife, mother, and woman. Rose is characterized as Troy’s wife at the start of Fences: “Her devotion to him stems from her recognition of the possibilities of her without him” (Kirszner and Mandell 1114).
As the playwright, August Wilson, allows the audience to get to know her we realize that she is a woman who Troy does not fully understand. Fences displays the struggles and challenges that were apart of Rose’s day-to-day life.
The biggest challenge that Fences addresses is how African American women were not able to have an identity without a man. Wilson writes, “A black woman’s identity was void if she did not have a husband because her role in society was only that of a wife and mother,” (Kirszner and Mandell 1114). In Fences, Troy does not give Rose the opportunity to fulfill her dreams or be her own person.