Racism, Responsibility and Death Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 24 November 2016

Racism, Responsibility and Death

Set in the late 1950s, the play Fences portrays the life of a fifty-year old Black named Troy, depicting his life as a husband, a father, a friend, and an individual set in the time where racism was highly dominant in America. Beyond cultural discrimination, themes like death, duty, friendship, and lost opportunities are also being seen in the play. Thesis: Real- life conditions are the backdrop of Wilson’s Fences as reflected through the story’s salient themes like racism, responsibility, and death.

Topic Sentence1: Racism happening towards Black Americans during Wilson’s time is the backbone of the playwright’s story. Being an African- American himself, Wilson easily relates in his story the actual situation that was happening during that time in America where Blacks were being seen differently from White Americans. He was able to create a story depicting this theme, which I believe is very intriguing and crucial on that time since the issue was given a new angle at the mark of the industrialization age in the country.

This claim was clearly seen through Wilson’s use of biases in Troy’s workplace. The main character noticed that it was only the Whites who were being promoted to drivers. On the first scene, he complained on the biases he has observed Quote 1: “ … what’s the matter, don’t I count? You think only white fellows got sense enough driving a truck? ” (p. 2). Topic sentence 2: Family responsibilities are commonly perceived as burden in economically- ill families. Issue on responsibility, I can say, is still related with Troy’s race.

Since he is a Black, his chances of getting promoted were affected. Troy assumes many responsibilities in the story: a husband, a father, and a brother to his disabled brother Gabriel. Although surrounded by such duties, Troy was trying to keep everyone satisfied with what he is giving. With this, his relationship to another woman, Alberta, was his escape from the burden he was carrying since for him the woman is not his responsibility, not until they found out that she was pregnant. Although Troy was earning not enough money, he was still brave for not abandoning his child.

Instead of ducking it, he accepted the consequences of his actions. Quote 2: “ I ain’t ducking the responsibility of it. As long as it sets right in my heart… then I’m okay. ” ( p. 63). Topic sentence 3: Death was presented in the play as an idea one should face bravely. In some stories, death is being portrayed as an aloof, mysterious thing. However, in the Fences, death was portrayed as something that one should face and battle with. Troy once told his story about how he wrestled and won against death.

However, when he and his Cory had a major dispute causing for the latter to leave the house, Troy was left calling for death to come and defeat him. Quote 3: “ … I can’t taste nothing no more. ( Troy assumes a batting position and begins to taunt Death… ) ”. ( p. 89). Sticking to the conventional and traditional approach of writing a play, August Wilson has able to weave and combine dynamic characters , plausible plot, creative language, sophisticated style, and timeless themes all in a life-reflecting yet unusual and genius work of art. Work Cited Wilson, August. Fences. New York: Penguin Books, 1987

Free Racism, Responsibility and Death Essay Sample


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 24 November 2016

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