Racism In Fences

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Fences is a play written by August Wilson and it is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1950’s. This play is a looking glass into the lives of members of the black community during this time period where segregation was still present to an extent. One social group that is marginalized in the text is African American Athletes, specifically, Troy Maxson’s character in the play used to play baseball in the “Negro Leagues” when he was younger. Throughout the play, Troy claims that he could play better than the white players in the MLB but he was never given the chance due to the conflicts with segregation. Troy’s mindset throughout the play has been shaped by his missed opportunities and this characteristic influences Troy to try to somewhat…show more content…
Troy is supposed to be building a fence throughout the play but it seems that he is always talking to Bono or another character when he should really be working on the fence. Typically, those conversations consist of his past in baseball or his allusion about baseball to teach a lesson. The untapped potential possessed by Troy causes him to react with rudeness when Cory is given the opportunity to play football. Several times in the play, Cory and Troy argue about whether football is the right path for Cory and this causes Troy to begin to build a “fence” and push out family members such as Cory. The same thing happens with Rose after Troy confesses his unfaithfulness to Rose. Rose becomes disappointed and cannot stand anymore of Troy’s controlling nature yet she agrees to take care of the newborn child after the mother died in childbirth. In act two, scene three, Rose says,“From right now… this child got a mother. But you a womanless man.”(79) Rose still has her motherly instincts and is willing to care for the child her husband had with another woman but she is going to stay out of Troy’s “fence”. Through Troy’s personal as well as his silencing of Rose, the allusion to the title, Fences, is made when he pushes people out of his life. Overall, Troy’s attitude towards life and his actions caused him to build fences to keep people away which created the allusion to the title. If Troy hadn’t been marginalized himself, it is likely that many conflicts in the play would not have
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