Essays on Fences

Original title Fences
Author August Wilson
Genre Drama , Fiction
Language English
Characters Troy Maxson, Rose Maxson, Cory Maxson, Jim Bono, Gabriel Maxson, Lyons Maxson, Raynell Maxson
Published 1985
ISBN 978-0-06-083863-0
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About Fences Book

Fences is a play written by American playwright August Wilson in 1985. The play was set in the 1950s in Pennsylvania, an African-American neighborhood. The drama is the sixth installment of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle.”

Fences is set in the mid-20th century; it explores the evolving Black experience. The play narrates the story of Troy, an African-American who became sad after his career as a baseball player was cut short.

The play further narrates his journey as a married man and a father. A student writing an essay on fences depicts how Troy’s circumstances as a young lad led him to prison and how he lets his history of being confronted with barriers estranged him from his loved ones.

In 1987, Fences won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play. In 2016, the play was adapted into a film of the same name.


Fences Book Summary

In Fences by August Wilson essay, the story must focus on the protagonist Troy Maxson. A black-American man lives in Pittsburgh with his family. The story narrates the life of Wilson, his wife of eighteen years, Rose, their son Cory, and his job as a garbage collector. Troy has a son from his old relationship, Lyon, who plays music in a band.

He also has a younger brother, Gabriel; he is mentally impaired due to a head injury sustained in World War II. Also in the picture is his best friend Bono. While in prison, he realized his talent as a football player, he tried to become a professional, but he was rejected because of his age. He believes it is because of racism that he was denied.

The story narrates how his fear that racism will stop his son from being a successful baseball player, which in turn destroys his relationship with his son.

Fences Quotes

Some famous quotes originated from the book. These are the words August Wilson used to express the theme of the play. Some of the quotes are:

  1. “Your daddy wanted you to be everything he wasn’t…and at the same time, he tried to make you into everything he was. I don’t know if he was right or wrong…but I know he meant to do more good than harm.”
  2. “You are not the only one who’s got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, wants, needs, and dreams…and I buried them inside you…Cause you were my husband.”
  3. “It’s my responsibility! You understand that? A man got to take care of his family. You live in my house, sleep you behind on my bedclothes, fill your belly up with my food, and cause you, my son. You my flesh and blood. Not cause I like you! Cause I must take care of you!”


Fences Essay Structure

An essay is a piece of writing that involves the use of some skills such as the ability to read, analyze, and compare information and to be able to present it in writing. As a form of academic work, it is required for every student to know how to write a stellar essay that communicates perfectly and accomplishes specific objectives. There are basic structures every paper writing follows.


Good essay writing is a skill acquired, not learned, which means with more practicing time, you can develop yourself. Regardless of your expertise, there is always a rule that guides every paper writing. Your essay must start with a remarkable hook that entices the reader.

This is where you introduce your work to the examiner. Also, include a thesis statement generated from the novel’s themes, and ensure it gives insight into the author’s message.


This is your work in full. When writing a fences symbolism essay, what is expected of you in the body of your essay is the interpretation of the book. The body of your essay is where you give details of the protagonist’s history and all the main characters involved in the book. In chronological order, discuss the author’s idea about what the book symbolizes and the value of the title given to you in the essay prompt.  Make use of the themes of the book to communicate your points.


Give your essay a compelling closure. You don’t want to leave your reader asking, “what else?” Give your essay a nice ending. As you open your essay with some questions you want your essay to answer, your conclusion closes it with the answer you’ve provided. Briefly summarize your viewpoints on the author’s message in a sentence or two. Make use of a moral or lesson in this paragraph to indicate the legitimacy of your work.

Tips to Consider While Writing An Essay about Fences

Research conducted among university and high school students shows that paper writing is the most complicated academic work. Students regard it as a challenging and time-consuming task. It is indeed vital. It is commonly used by tutors to evaluate critical thinking and how students can process information and interpret it.

Whether in a professional or academic setting, it is crucial to have good writing skills as this is one of the criteria that will stand you out among others. However, essay writing has been made easy; a few steps will guide you to successful paper writing.

Read The Book Thoroughly

The first step to take in any writing project is to research the title being given. Regarding an essay on Fences, the primary material is the novel itself. Take your time and read through the novel thoroughly. You can generate your topics, subtopics, and thesis statements from this.

Also, have a clear understanding of the essay prompt. Your tutor might be specific on the aspect you are to discuss or the type of essay required of you. Familiarise yourself with materials related to the essay prompt, such as reviews, summaries, and the novel. You can also download the pdf format of the book. Read through it several times to understand the author’s perspective. Also, understanding the theme of the novel will help get faster and better understanding.

Find a Compelling Topic

The play has different aspects, and they all center on the protagonist’s fear of racism and how it affects his life and his relationship with his son. There are also different themes in the play.

You must understand every detail of the book to create a classic topic that best conveys your understanding. Create a topic that best narrates the protagonist’s life at a glance and it must be able to represent the author’s message. Your topic must not be too lengthy or unnecessarily wordy. It must be able to communicate your viewpoint about what the book symbolizes.

Create the Outline

This is an integral part of essay writing. This is a list that highlights your ideas in sequential order. It contains knowledge acquired while reading the book.

According to your essay prompt, there are rules and guidelines your essay must adhere to. To keep track of your work, generate an outline that contains your topic and subtopics. It will also contain the number of paragraphs you want your essay to have and the point you want each paragraph to discuss. It will help you narrate the role of the characters in a good manner. When writing an outline, ensure the preceding point is linked with the following one.


Write the Thesis Statement

Put your thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph. This is a short sentence that summarizes the claim of your work. This is a statement that holds together your work. It gives the reader what to look out for. It can also be in the form of a question.

In your Fences essay, generate your thesis from the themes of the novel. This will help organize and develop the body of your writing piece. They let tutors know what your statement is and what it aims to prove.


Include A Lesson Or Moral

A lesson is your takeaway from the book. It shows the relevancy of the author’s ideas. Including a lesson in your work means you have taken your time to understand the protagonist’s agony and how he let fear take away the best of his life. In addition, a lesson is also an avenue to communicate what you perceive as right or wrong in the book. This is the only part considered yours: your opinions and interpretations.


Conclusion: Proofread Your Work

In the last stage, don’t be in haste to submit your write-up. Proofreading is a way to correct errors. Go through your essay after you are done writing it. Ensure that the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay emphasize the significance of your arguments.

Also, examine the structure of the essay, and ensure the paragraphs are well articulated. Make sure the essay follows the appropriate format as instructed in the prompt.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our expert writers if you need help writing an essay on Fences. 


Q: What is the main idea of Fences?

A: The story focuses on race, barriers, responsibility, and love. The effect of racism on Troy’s life and his fear that racism will prevent Cory from achieving success leads to Troy damaging their relationship.


Q: What is a good thesis statement for Fences?

A:  Racial segregation and injustice, how it can create hardships for people, leading to unfortunate circumstances and lack of self-esteem.


Q: What do the Fences symbolize in Fences?

A: It symbolizes barriers. How racism stops him from becoming a professional baseball player. He lets his history of being confronted with barriers separate him from his friends and family.


Q: What are the morals of Fences?

A: The moral of August Wilson’s play is that love still prevails even though life is hard and people make wrong choices. 

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