The story line seemed melodramatic throughout the play. The author (August Wilson) has laid the ground work of many themes throughout the play. The play deals with Race, Men and their masculinity, Morality, Dreams and hopes of everyone involved, Family, Duty, Betrayal and Dissatisfaction. The play begins with Troy and his best friend Bono entering the yard chatting as they usually do coming home from work as garage collectors for their company. Every Friday is payday for Troy and Bono and one can usually find these two enjoy drinking down at Taylors (the local watering hole).
Troy seems to be upset due to the fact that he tries to rise above “just being a garbage man” and seeks to become a driver of the garbage truck. Troy has made a formal complaint to his boss (Mr. Rand) and asks “Why you got the white mens driving and the colored lifting? ” Troy recognized that he has just as much of a right and ability as the “white men” he is working with, and can drive the garbage truck just as well as any of them. Although, Troy didn’t realize it, he was actually leading the way (in his own right) for black men and woman everywhere. But this wasn’t the only issue that Troy is dealing with.
Troy has been cheating on his wife Rose with his mistress Alberta and decides to discuss this with his friend Jim Bono (often mostly referred to by his last name Bono in the book). But Rose appears to always be on Troy about building the “Fence” around the yard. This later on in the play seems to have a profound underlying tone to more than just the literal meaning of the word. Troy, although a good man at heart, he seems to be struggling with an issue of facing death.. Troy seems to have his hands full within the play. With every situation, Troy seems to describe them in the terms of baseball.
Since Troy was robbed of a potential a professional baseball career because of his race and has become bitter because of it. It seems that Troy has a lot of “Fences” to mend, not only the physical kind, but the relationships he has with his wife, his sons Lyons and Cory (mostly). Troy also deals (and is responsible for) with his brother Gabriel, who received a serious head injury during the war and hasn’t been the same since. Troy’s son Cory tells his father that he has a chance to be scouted for a recruiter from the University of North Carolina for its football team.
But since Troy feels that Cory should be concentrating on working at the local A&P supermarket and his studies and leave football alone. One can understand as to maybe why Troy feels that his son should work and focus on school instead of football. Since Troy was disappointed because of his lack of a professional baseball career (because of his color), he did not want to see his son receive the same kind of heartbreak he had suffered. Troy, by doing this, he is holding his son back (whether he realizes it or not) from possibly having a better life than what he had or currently has.
Troy seems somewhat jealous of his son Cory and really bitter when it comes to sports. One of the main themes of the play seems to come when Troy has to tell his wife Rose (coming clean) that he is going to be a father again. Rose becomes upset and wants to know why Troy couldn’t “stay in her bed” instead of going elsewhere. Troy attempt to rationalize what he has done, says that he is only trying to feel good about himself and that he hasn’t done so in a long time. When Rose has to explain to Troy that she received a call from the hospital informing her that, Alberta died giving birth to his daughter, Raynell.
Rose, being the good woman that she is, accepts Raynell in to her family and agrees to raise her. Troy then comes to battle with Cory, when he attempts to step over his father and enter the house. Cory is then told that he no longer lives there, and was being kicked out of the house forever. Cory states to Troy that he doesn’t need anything from him and can take of himself. Since Troy had to deal with being on his own since he was fourteen years old, his son can do the same thing (Cory is a little older, 17 yrs. old).
Troy, throughout the play is always speaking about, how he will be ready for “Grim Reaper and his sickle” and will not go down without a fight (which he often brags about beating death when he was younger). Troy just prior to his death (and finding out about the death of his mistress) Troy: “All right… Mr. Death…. I’m gonna take and build me a fence around this yard. See? I’m gonna build me a fence around what belongs to me. And then I want you to stay on the other side. See? You stay over there until you’re ready for me.
” So, this could be another underlying theme that Troy is always wrestling with a force much larger than he is and is always taunting death by saying “Then you [Death] come on. Bring your army. Bring your sickle. Bring your wrestling clothes”. The last time we actually see or hear from Troy is in Act II scene 4 when he says “I can’t taste nothing. Helluljah! (Probably misspelled on purpose) I can’t taste nothing no more. (Troy assumes a batting posture and begins to taunt Death, the fastball on the outside corner. ) Come on! It’s between you and me now! Come on! Anytime you want!
Come on! I be ready for you….. but I ain’t gonna be easy. At this point, Troy realizes that he is dying (heart attack). At the beginning of the following scene, the reader learns that Troy has died and everyone (except Cory) is preparing to attend Troy’s funeral. But as the story starts to end, both of Troy’s sons, Lyons and Cory are talking with each other and tells one another how each one is doing. Lyons is finishing up his prison sentence and Cory is a Corporal in the Marine Corps. The two of then begin to sing the song that their dad used to sing about a dog name Blue.
The story can take the reader through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Great story about the trials and tribulations of a man and the world around him. According to Wade Bradford from About. com, he states: Arguably August Wilson’s most renowned work, Fences explores the life and relationships of the Maxson family. This moving drama was written in 1983 and earned Wilson his first Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist, Troy Maxon is a restless trash-collector and former baseball athlete. Though deeply flawed, he represents the struggle for justice and fair treatment during the 1950s.
Troy also represents human nature’s reluctance to recognize and accept social change. In the playwright’s setting description, symbols connected to his character can be found: the house, the incomplete fence, the porch, and the makeshift baseball tied to a tree branch (Bradford, Wade 2011). Reference Wilson, August (1987) Fences, In Drama: A Pocket Anthology (2nd Ed. ) P. 451 Longman, Penguin Academics, New York Retrieved November 5, 2011. Bradford, Wade (2011) August Wilson’s “Fences” Character and setting analysis, About. com, Retrieved November 06, 2011 www. about. com.