FENCES SONT ATTEINDRE. August Wilson yw Midiviidavimaininingway. THE PLAY: Near the turn of the century, the destitute of Europe sprang on the city with . TITLE: AUGUST WILSON'S FENCES. The screen remains black. The sound of a truck rumbling along a street. Two men are heard talking: bono (v.o.): Troy, you. August Wilson's Fences Continuum Modern Theatre GuidesArthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Peter L. Hays and Kent Ni.
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It is Troy and Bono enter the yard, engaged in conversation. Troy is fifty- three years old, a large man with thick, heavy hands; it is this largeness that he. Student Matinee Program. Presents. August Wilson's Fences. Generously sponsored by. Franca Bongi-Lockard. Nancy K. Johnson. A Study Guide for Educators. Shortly after completing Fences in , Wilson began to see that the three dramas . The ten plays with which August Wilson conquered the American theater are .. lagemahgunste.ml lagemahgunste.ml
Troy insists that he hasn't "eyed" women since he met his wife, Rose. Bono agrees.
Fences by August Wilson.pdf - Taylor 1 Rachel Taylor Dr...
But Bono pushes the issue further by revealing to Troy that he has seen Troy walking around Alberta's house when Troy is supposedly at Taylor's. Troy gets mad at Bono for following him around.
Bono asks Troy what he knows about Alberta. Troy tells Bono that Alberta is from Tallahassee, revealing that he knows something about her. Rose comes out of the house. Rose and Troy tell Bono about the ways Rose has changed Troy for the better as a married man. Rose tells the men that Troy and Rose's son, Cory, has been recruited by a college football team and the college coach is coming to visit. Troy was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues but never got a chance to play in the Major Leagues because he got too old to play just as the Major Leagues began accepting black players.
Troy does not want Cory to play ball, but to learn a trade. When Troy exclaims that it was unfair to prohibit anyone who was good enough to play in the Majors from playing and then takes a long drink, Rose reprimands him saying, "You gonna drink yourself to death.
Troy turns the time when he was sick with pneumonia in Mercy Hospital into a fanciful story about his fight with a character named Death.
Even as Rose provides the real story to Bono, Troy continues telling his tale. Lyons, a son Troy had before he met Rose, shows up at the house as he has tended to do on many Fridays in the past because Lyons knows it is Troy's payday. Lyons is a jazz musician. He asks Troy if he can borrow ten dollars. Troy continues his saga about Death, changing the times and situations in which he met Death and the Devil. This includes the time a door-to-door salesman that Troy claims is the Devil sold him a layaway plan to download furniture.
Lyons thinks Troy's belief that he has seen the Devil is as ridiculous as Troy thinks it is for Lyons to pursue music. Troy puts down the way Lyons was raised and Lyons accuses Troy of knowing little about the way he was raised because Troy was in jail for most of Lyons' childhood. Lyons and Rose convince Troy to give Lyons the ten dollars. Lyons abruptly decides to leave after receiving the money.
Bono decides to go home to Lucille and the pig feet she made for dinner. Troy embarrasses Rose by telling Bono how much he loves his wife and brags that on Monday morning when it is time for work, he'll still be making love to her.
Wilson forces the audience to immediately acclimate to the world of the play by gathering information from Troy and Bono's conversation. The exposition in this first dialogue informs that Troy and Bono are close friends who work together.
Bono agrees with Troy's negative opinion of their co-worker, Brownie, and shows that he sticks up for Troy at work, a sign he is a loyal as well as attentive friend. Variety plays that portrayed stereotypical blacks played by white men in blackface, called minstrel shows, were the most popular form of American entertainment for over two hundred years.
In caricature drawings and minstrel shows, African Americans were frequently depicted as lazy, child-like people who enjoyed nothing more than eating watermelons all day or stealing watermelons for pleasure. Troy and Bono think Brownie's embarrassment over having a watermelon was foolish on two 9 Page levels.
They think this because Brownie did a bad job of concealing the watermelon that was perfectly visible to everyone. The second reason is not conscious to Troy and Bono but to the playwright. Wilson is conscious that minstrel characters institutionalized the tradition of stereotypical black characters in American entertainment.
Wilson turns this tradition on its head by writing his own realized characters in such a way that they indirectly refer to the stereotyping of blacks very early in the play thereby sending a signal to the audience that this play's project is in part to present characters who are three- dimensional.
Troy and Bono are not ashamed to be black and have confident enough self-images that they would not be embarrassed to be seen with a stereotypical object like Brownie is with his watermelon. Too early to have the political-mindedness of Wilson characters inspired by the black pride movement, Bono and Troy nevertheless foreshadow issues that will emerge in the shaping of future African American identities.
Structurally, this first scene establishes patterns in the play to come. Bono and Troy's friendship is closest in this first scene and their language borrows words from each other more frequently in these first conversations. This is a technique playwrights have used for centuries to create the feeling that the characters are harmonious. Bono and Troy frequently use the word "nigger" as an endearing 10 P a g e term, a common use of the word by African Americans who, like homosexuals who now embrace the term, "queer" to describe themselves, reverse an originally derogatory word used by a majority to denigrate a group into a word that the oppressed group uses for themselves with a positive connotation, lessening the power of its insult.
Bono and Troy's dialogue also foreshadows several plot elements. Concerned for Troy's family life, Bono inquires about Troy's relationship with a woman named Alberta. This piece of information foreshadows the inevitability that Troy will reveal his secret because Bono has been watching him closely and Troy is not covert at his sneaking around. Another conflict is planted in Act One, scene one when Rose informs Bono and Troy about the recruiter who wants to see Troy and Rose's son, Cory play football.
Setting the scene on Friday and returning to two more Fridays in following scenes allows Wilson to portray change. Lyons' entrance and Troy's complaint about his money borrowing will later provide laughs when Lyons shows up again.
It will also establish Lyons as a trust-worthy, sympathetic character when Lyons makes good on his loan because he proves much more reliable than Troy's perception of Lyons in this first scene. When Bono and Troy no longer 11 P a g e drink and laugh together on a future payday, we notice how far away from each other they've come since we first met them in the first scene that emphasizes the extent of the damage Troy's decisions have caused.
She sings a song asking Jesus to protect her like a fence. Troy and Rose talk about the numbers, or lottery game, that Rose and Lyons play. Troy tells Rose that everyone at work thinks he is going to get fired, but he does not think it will happen. Gabriel, Troy's brother shows up at the house with a basket. He sings a song about selling plums but he does not have any plums in his basket to sell.
Gabe explains to Troy that he moved over to Miss Pearl's because he didn't want to be in the way. Troy tells Gabe he is not mad at him for leaving their home. Gabe is brain-damaged from a war injury and sometimes thinks he is the angel Gabriel.
Gabe often refers to St. Peter as if he knows him personally. Gabe tells Troy that he has seen St. Peter's book for Judgment Day and Troy's name appeared 12 P a g e inside. Gabe saw Rose's name too, but not the way Troy's name appeared. Gabe leaves Troy after he thinks he sees hellhounds around Troy's feet. As Gabe leaves, he sings a song warning Troy to get ready for Judgment Day. Rose and Troy argue over what to do to help Gabe now that he has moved to Miss Pearl's. Troy displays some guilt for managing the money Gabriel receives from the government.
Rose believes Troy did the right thing in taking over Gabriel's money. Rose reminds Troy about the fence she's asked him to finish building.
Troy tells Rose that he is going to Taylor's to listen to a baseball game and he'll work on the fence when he gets back. Analysis Unlike the exaggerated stories and hopes for institutionalized change at his workplace that defined Troy in Act One, scene one, the next side of Troy that Wilson introduces us to is critical of dreams and hopes.
Troy criticizes Rose's enjoyment of playing numbers, a game like the lottery that Lyons also enjoys.
Troy displays his sense of responsibility in his reaction to Rose's hobby, but simultaneously provides evidence of his selfish treatment of Rose. Rose had humored Troy when Troy went on for several minutes about his battle with the Devil in Act One, scene one, but Troy cannot give Rose an inch when she talks 13 P a g e about numbers, an activity that she enjoys as much as Troy enjoys telling his stories. This argument between them about the numbers is an example of how Troy is insensitive to Rose's needs.
She will later accuse Troy of "taking and not giving," which we witness here first hand. Troy is so concerned with his own survival in his stagnant, disappointing life that he fails to perceive the ways in which his loved ones have learned to cope.
Playing numbers is an escape, a simple luxury and pleasure of Rose and Lyons that serves the same purpose to them as Troy's escape in his affair with Alberta. It is therefore ironic that Troy complains about the cost of Rose playing numbers and the loss and risk involved when his gamble with Alberta eventually proves much more expensive. Lyons and Rose playing numbers represent their individual gamble in life to put their faith in unstable hopes. Rose invests her life in Troy who has lost a significant amount of potential than when they first met.
Lyons gambles with a career in music, a difficult and extremely unconventional path for the time period. Rose's positive attitude towards playing the numbers connotes that she does not have regrets about her losing gamble with Troy, but keeps her hope alive in a better, more fulfilling and richer future. On the other hand, Troy prefers to see himself as practical and miserly.
He is in denial about his extramarital affair and does not see the potential cost to his 14 P a g e stability and family he is risking, to the point where he thinks a small wager placed by Rose or Lyons is foolish. Gabriel contributes to the world of Fences by representing absurdity, and specifically absurdity in an African American life in America.
A common theme in African American literature has been the concept that to be African American in the United States is to live in a state of absurdity because the government that supposedly represents you a citizen has a history of denying you the rights it promises to insure. Gabriel exemplifies this duality. He fought in a war and lost a part of his brain while his brother was denied access to play with players of his level in the Major Leagues because of the color of his skin. Gabe's character is a descendant of the wise fools in Shakespeare whose language sounds nonsensical at times, and at other times provide insight and wisdom.
Gabe speaks in child-like phrases and song lyrics. He lives in a world that is half imaginary and half based on the reality before his eyes. He physicalizes a warning and a consciousness for Troy, which Troy does not heed.
Gabe's recent move out of the Maxson house to an apartment in Miss Pearl's house affronts Troy's manhood because Gabe who cannot hold down a job or live in reality has managed to provide a home of his own for himself, a feat that 15 P a g e Troy has failed to accomplish.
Gabe's story about seeing Troy's name and Rose's name in different places in St. Peter's book signifies that Troy is a sinner and Rose is going to heaven.
Gabe's song, "Better Get Ready For the Judgment," and his hallucination that hellhounds are in Troy's yard warn Troy to change his behavior unsuccessfully because Troy does not hear the message. Wilson's voice as a playwright however can be heard through Gabe's assessment of Troy's deeds. Moreover, Gabe reminds Troy of Troy's own sacrifices and inability to control his fate in certain aspects of his life.
Troy is ashamed of his use of Gabe's money to download their house, but without it, they would still live in poverty. Troy's manhood is bruised because he knows it cost the Maxson family part of Gabriel's brain to have what little assets they own.
This sacrifice contributes to Troy's often-warped sense of duty. Troy feels that if he had been born white with the same talent he had in his prime, or if the Major Leagues had integrated, his family would live carefree.
And even with his work ethic and years of commitment to the sanitation department, he has not been able to get a promotion because the union prohibits blacks from driving the trash trucks. Troy's experience has been that even when you try your best and sacrifice what you have to give, the rules do not always apply in your favor as a black American. Similarly, Troy has taken from Gabe what is rightfully his money for his own use. Rose tells him that Troy was upset about Cory leaving the house without doing his chores or helping him with the fence.
Cory tells Rose that every Saturday Troy says he needs his help with the fence but he never ends up working on it. Instead, he says he goes to the bar, Taylor's. Cory goes inside to eat lunch and do his chores.
Troy comes home, supposedly from Taylor's, but can't remember the 17 P a g e score of the game. He unsuccessfully flirts with Rose, and then yells at Cory to come outside and help him with the fence.
Troy reprimands Cory for going to football practice instead of doing his chores. Cory and Troy work on the fence. Cory asks Troy if they can download a television. Troy would rather download a new roof because it would insure their future security. Cory thinks it would be fun to watch the World Series on TV.
It would cost two hundred dollars. Troy makes a deal with Cory that if Cory comes up with one hundred dollars, Troy will match him with the other half and they will download the television together. Troy and Cory have a friendly argument about the status of black players in the Major Leagues. Troy will not admit that Hank Aaron is changing the game and that Roberto Clemente's coaches give him plenty of chances to bat. Troy finds weakly argued excuses to deny that baseball is treating black players fairly and changing for the better.
Troy disappoints Cory by not agreeing to sign the permission papers for Cory to play college football. A coach is coming from North Carolina to recruit Cory, but even with the knowledge of how far the coach is traveling to see his son, Troy will not change his mind. Stawicki, Cory's boss, is 18 P a g e keeping Cory's job for when the season ends.
Cory begs Troy to change his mind, but Troy refuses and demands Cory get his job back. Cory asks Troy why he never liked Cory. Troy responds by explaining his belief that his role as a father is to provide shelter and food and the gift of life to a son and nothing more.
Fences by August Wilson.pdf
Troy demands that Cory speak to him respectfully with the word "sir," and gives Cory the third degree, making Cory treat him with a military-like respect. Rose asks Troy why he will not let Cory play football when Cory is trying to follow in his father's footsteps. Troy explains that when Cory was born, he decided he would not allow Cory to pursue sports in order to spare Cory from a fate like his own. Rose tries to get Troy to admit that he was too old to play for the Major Leagues and that times have changed since the years Troy was prohibited from the Major Leagues because of the color of his skin.
Troy will not agree with Rose. He tells Rose that he is trying to give everything he has to his family and he can't change or give anything else but his hard work and responsibility. Troy feels that his financial support is more than enough. The blow to their relationship is not yet a physical affront, but an irreconcilable difference.
Instead, Troy only sees the ways Cory does not live up to Troy's vision of how Cory should live his life. Troy's hypocrisy becomes evident to Cory over the course of his conversation with Troy as they build the fence.
The beginning of their talk displays a friendly competition aspect of their relationship. Troy and Cory argue about the downloading of a television versus a new roof in good spirits. Troy is typically stubborn and takes the pragmatic view on the television issue, again emphasizing his inability to empathize with anyone else's lofty dreams but his own.
However, in a moment of compassion, Troy relents and offers Cory a fair deal.
In this moment, Troy is his most laudable. Cory's persistent, logical and persuasive argument for a television affects Troy. It is notable that Troy does not go head over heels and offer to download Cory the television, but his proposal is fair and balanced.
By offering to 20 P a g e pay half if Cory can come up with half of the money, Troy emphasizes the kind of responsibility-instilling parenting he believes in that encourages Cory's work ethic, while supporting his son in realizing a dream. On the flip side, when their argument hits closer to home with the topic of sports, Troy transforms his fair and supportive outlook into an irrational, hurtful one. Troy and Cory's conversation solidifies their positions as two men separated by a generation but sharing a common passion.
Cory showed his persistence in proving to Troy that downloading a television would be a good investment and goes on further to attempt to convince Troy that baseball, and thus, the world has changed since Troy was a ball player. With the television argument, Troy had substantial, though sometime weak arguments for Cory. He had a good point that their roof needs fixing, though he did not seem to think of the roof as a financial priority until Cory brought up the idea of downloading a TV.
In Troy's rebuttals against Cory about the change in Major League sports, however, his answers to Cory's points are irrational and lack substance, or even warp the truth for his own benefit. Troy claims Roberto Clemente sits on the bench too much but Cory challenges this by saying he has plenty of opportunities.
Troy thinks Clemente and Aaron and other colored ballplayers are on the team as tokens, but are not actually played. Cory refutes this idea as well. When Cory brings up the 21 P a g e amount of home runs Aaron hit this year, troy deflates Aaron's success by insisting that hitting homeruns is merely Aaron's responsibility. Troy boasts about his ability to play baseball as well as the players Cory adores.
Then, when Cory mentions Sandy Koufax's pitching, Troy's denial of Cory's proof that times have changed reaches a pinnacle of poor reasoning. Troy simply negates Koufax's existence in his mind by saying, "I ain't thinking of no Sandy Koufax. Troy's unwillingness to change his perceptions with the time, results in his stubborn and selfish decision to refuse to see the college recruiter coming to ask for Troy's permission to recruit Cory for college football.
Troy and Cory's incompatible perspectives and conflicting interpretation of a changing history comprise their major differences. Cory gets a startlingly sour taste of Troy's irrational hypocrisy. Troy's hypocrisy favors his own warped vision of the world as one he can shape for his own protection at the expense of holding back a promising future for his son, who he believes he is also protecting, but instead, actually holds back.
Troy has won his case against the commissioner's office. He has been given a promotion that will make him the first black garbage truck driver in the city. Lyons shows up and asks if Troy wants to hear him play jazz that night. Troy calls jazz, "Chinese music" because it is foreign and unfamiliar to his ears and he does not understand it. Lyons and Bono tease Troy because he does not know how to drive and he cannot read.
Lyons surprises Troy by paying him back the ten dollars he borrowed from Troy two Fridays ago. Bono and Troy remember their dead fathers and their childhood experiences of becoming men when they left home in the south and moved north. Lyons benefits from the stories, learning details about his father's life that he has not heard before. Cory comes home enraged after finding out that Troy went to the high school football coach, Coach Zellman and told him that Cory may not play on the team anymore.
Cory displays his first aggressive verbal attack on Troy by saying that Troy is holding him back from his dreams because Troy is afraid that Cory will be better than Troy.
Troy warns Cory that his insubordinance is a strike against him and he better not "strike out. The return of the setting to Troy and Bono's payday creates the feeling that their life has a continuous 24 P a g e pattern, a homecoming, and a cycle.
Bono and Troy's excitement exceeds the enthusiasm they shared in the first scene. Troy's promotion rouses a renewed energy from both of the men.
The repetition of the setting emphasizes the uniqueness of the exciting news of Troy's promotion and his success in challenging the racist practices of his employers because it helps to illustrate the infrequency with which great, life-changing events occur in their lives.
The thrill of Troy and Bono's news temporarily suspends the plot elements planted in the previous scenes. For an afternoon, things seem to be looking up for the Maxson family and for Troy.
But because Wilson has already exposed elements that are bound to produce conflict such as Troy's affair with Alberta, Cory's wish to go to college and play football, and Gabe's warnings, we know the good times will not last for long. Everything a wife could be. Been married eighteen years and I got to live to see the day you tell me you been seeing another woman and done fathered a child by her.
As a result, she is totally left in disarray. Even if Rose is right to blame Troy for his unfaithfulness and to accuse him for being ungrateful regarding the sacrifices she has made for their love, a careful examination of the story can also instruct the reader about the fact that such unfortunate intrusion could not be avoided, given the lack of vigilance form her.
For, while she has wanted the fence to be completed and kept calling on her husband and Cory to work on it, the completion has always been deferred by Troy.
Listen to the ball game. Indeed, not long after he informs Rose about his relation with Alberta, he is in turn informed that she has died in childbirth. Inconsolable, his mourning reveals the real significance of the fence for him: Alright… Mr. And then I want you to stay on the other side. Then you come on. Bring your army.
Bring your sickle. Bring your wrestling clothes. When you ready for me… When the top of your list say Troy Maxson… p. It is this question that sets the conflict between Troy Maxson, the main protagonist and father of the family, and Cory his youngest son. This is why he refuses to let Cory engage in the same career. Troy rather insists on hard work, which he urges his children to embrace. Whenever one of them comes to ask him something, his answer is invariably negative.
To be trained to secure a job that helps everyone to take care of themselves is what matters for Troy. After all, he has done pretty well in supporting his family as a worker in the garbage-collect company of the town. Even if it is a lower job, it has permitted him to secure the minimum for them and he is ready to boast about it to Cory when answering his objection about his attitude to him: Troy: You eat everyday [?
Troy: You got a roof over your head [? Troy: Why you think that is? Cory: Hesitant Cause you like me. Troy: Like you? I go out of here every morning… bust my butt… putting up with them crackers every day … cause I like you? You about the biggest fool I ever saw.
You understand that?
August Wilson's Fences
A man got to take care of his family. He had to gives me cause he owe me. This responsibility is valued only by holding a job according to Troy. Linked together, these two notions are central in Fences , which appears, thus, as a play in which the reader discovers a new framing of the African American identity. This perspective on work and responsibility developed in Fences is essential in the works of most of contemporary African American intellectuals like August Wilson and Shelby Steele, to cite the most popular of them.
The point of contention in the debate is the association which is commonly drawn between African Americans and their racial heritage. Music and sports, for instance, described as the only outlets for people of African descent, are the expression of racial stigmatization. In the end, Troy appears as a person with an ambivalent identity, an identity which cumulates the American values and the values of the African ancestral heritage. Sharing the same vision of responsibility and work as Wilson, Shelby Steele, has also written a lot on the issue of identity; but he is rather attached to American values of work, individual initiative and property ownership.
There is no getting around this. What we need is a form of racial identity that energizes the individual by putting him in touch with both his possibilities and his responsibilities. Expressed in terms of work, education, individual initiative, or private ownership, these values shape, according to Steele, the notion of responsibility which African American intellectuals praise so much today.
Whether we are in a radically liberal perspective or in a double conscious worldview, the question of identity takes a new articulation in contemporary African American artistic production like in the drama of August Wilson.
Fences is one among the theatrical works written by this playwright which charts a new definition to it. Conclusion:- To learn about the life and work of playwright August Wilson is also to learn about the place of the Black in American theatrical development.
Because of the negative impact of some major phenomena like slavery, and the stereotypes that it contributed to develop about the image of people African descent, it has been historically difficult for African American artists to contribute to drama as easily as they did in other artistic genres.
He constantly states that there is no better woman or wife, and that she is the best thing that happened to him. Troy does not exactly deny his interest in Alberta; instead he turns it around by asking Bono questions and thereby changing the subject without truly answering the question. This avoidance continues on through the drama until he has to tell Rose that Alberta is pregnant with his baby. Rose becomes the strong archetype of the African American woman.
She has put her life and soul into Troy, and yet he has sought out the companionship of another Gantt, He explains the affair as a way to ignore the responsibilities of his failed life, if at least for a while. This aggravates Rose even more, since he has never taken her feelings, wants or needs into consideration. Rose even takes the call from the hospital when Alberta dies while giving birth.
The strength of Rose does not reach its apex until Troy brings home his daughter. He asks Rose to help him raise her. But you is a womanless man. Troy, on the other hand, is shown that he will not only have the responsibility of the child, but will continue to have the responsibility of Rose, Lyons, and Cory with nothing in return.
Rose had requested the fence, and symbolically it was to hold her family together. The fact that Troy never really worked on the fence all that much shows that he was not in love with Rose, but felt a responsibility to her. He wanted his freedom and the fence symbolized his acceptance as a failure. Throughout the work, Troy constantly used the game of baseball as a metaphor to life. This is the metaphor that is used, because he was a failure in the desegregated professional league and he was a failure in life.
The baseball references just reinforce the lack of success and create even more animosity toward the family and friends in his life. Rose reminded him of his failure, because she was there when it occurred.
He was able to forget about his failure when he was with Alberta, because she was new and had no knowledge of his true failure in life. The symbol of the fence and the metaphors of baseball used throughout this drama, connect everything back to the sense that Troy Maxon was unhappy with his life, and felt as if he were a failure.
The failure was taken out on those he felt a responsibility to, such as Rose, and Cory. He felt no real responsibility to Lyons, hence there relationship was better. Troy was jealous of Cory and reminded of his failures by Rose.It is pay day for Troy Maxson and his long-time friend, Jim Bono.
Bono asks Troy about his relationship with Alberta again. Whenever one of them comes to ask him something, his answer is invariably negative. Troy Maxson, an African American garbage man, former prisoner and baseball player is in constant opposition with his family members, especially his sons who want to seize the only opportunity that the racially-ostracized society offered to them in the late s.
This is a drama about the culture. Objectiveclassdiscussionsabout howprimarysourcesinformunderstandingoftheplay Analyzemultipleinterpretationsofastory,drama,orpoem e.
Troy simply negates Koufax's existence in his mind by saying, "I ain't thinking of no Sandy Koufax. Rose loves Troy and strives to be the epitome of a good wife, despite the cost.
When the station discovered she was black, they substituted a certificate for a secondhand washer. Troy's experience has been that even when you try your best and sacrifice what you have to give, the rules do not always apply in your favor as a black American.