Against the backdrop of how the African Americans tried to leave Southern America to find and make better lives in the North, August Wilson wrote his many plays like “Fences” to illustrate the struggle towards emancipation. Emancipation is a goal and a dream of not just achieving equality within the society that they desire to thrive but at the same time to achieve individual fulfillment. The central theme of the story is characterized in Troy.
The symbolism of containing the dreams in the story is Rose. Troy and Rose are husband and wife. Contributing to how the story of “Fence” illustrate the figurative purpose of the project of building the fence around the house of Troy and Rose are their children, Cory and Lyons; together with Troy’s bosom buddy, Bono and the brother of Troy, Gabe. Rose is the only one who is incessant and determined that the fence of the house must be completed.
She knows that the many sentiments and principles surrounding the individual perception of life struggle and the pursuit and fulfillment of dreams and the congruent failures and disappointments in the family of Rose will all be better defined, or alleviated, or contained if they all will work together in first and foremost accomplish the project of building the fence of the house. The Fence Keeps Everyone In: The house of Troy and Rose is the setting of the story of the play and is considerably the house of Gabe. The brother of Troy was a military serviceman.
Gabe got injured during his service in the war. Therefore, Gabe becomes an invalid and had to be cared for. As Troy stands as guardian and caretaker of his brother, the war benefits of Gabe make Troy the beneficiary. It is this circumstance that beholds Troy and his family to care for the house as they care for Gabe. Rose is the conduit to have the fence built. She knows that the need to make all the men in her family commit to the completion of the building of the fence will demonstrate that they all will care for the house that they are lucky to have the chance to have.
It is attending to the needs of the house that they can continually warrant to Gabe and to the United States government that Gabe is getting the necessary care and attention he deserves. In addition what the fixing of the fence of the house can do is to help hold the decision of Cory of leave the family. Troy and Rose knows that Cory has the right to pursue his dreams of becoming a football a football league player. In the meantime, Cory works as a grocer and Troy believes that this is consistent enough as Cory earns good money.
Troy insists that Cory can be contented and satisfied with his situation. A career in football is a very strong determination of Cory. He believes he has developed the skills and talent to shine in that career. He believes that he can achieve a better life for him if he becomes a full pledged, professional football league player. Troy is likewise insistent that football will not give Cory the success he desires. The reason for the insistence of Troy was his traumatic experience when he tried to become a football league player himself during his younger days.
And the reason why Troy could not fulfill his dreams was because he was discriminated on due to his race. Troy therefore believes that Cory will likewise get hurt as he was hurt if he will also be discriminated upon. The other son Lyons is in the same situation. He has his dream of becoming a successful musician. Troy points out that the inclination of Lyons towards music is not leading him anywhere. Considering that even if Lyons gets intermittent work in playing music, Lyons is still dependent on Troy. Lyons however points out that even if he borrows money from Troy, he is still capable of paying him back.
Troy nevertheless believes that Lyons should find another job, which is a better job with stable income to enable Lyons to be a real success in life. Rose realizes that these conflicting point of views of the father and sons cause friction. Therefore, she believes that if Cory and Lyons could work together with his father in building the fence, they stay together and maybe during the working process they can share and realize the right and appropriate possibilities in achieving the dream of Cory and Lyons for a successful future.
The Fence as a Barrier: What emotionally and psychologically surrounds the family of Troy and Rose Maxson is the sentiment of the times towards race. As African Americans they have had their taste of the injustice and inequality of their society. They forefathers struggled towards emancipation from slavery. The succeeding generation struggled towards emancipation from unfair treatment in jobs and careers and pursuit of education and dreams. Rose knows that working on the fence of the house will keep the family find a level of fulfillment.
The ability of care for the house and put up and maintain the things that the house needs will be an illustration of abilities and skills. The fence is the barrier to the concept of society about their race of either being of no use or incapable of some things. The fence is the barrier to the harsh realities of society in life that can deny them to achieve their dreams and success. To complete the fence is the ultimate symbol of keeping family together; of proving to themselves that they are abled, skilled and talented individuals; and of showing to the world that they have a common denominator of success.