Fences

Divides Made By Fences Built College

Divides Made By Fences Built

By definition, the structure of a fence is said to be a barrier that controls access or prevents escape from a specific area. In August Wilson's Fences, this definition stands for much larger boundaries being set within each character's interpersonal relationships. The idea of fences being built defines most of the central conflicts within the play from a metaphorical standpoint. The extremely unhealthy social enclosures that Troy Maxson's character forms between his family and friends will ultimately push them all away, leaving him the sole object of isolation.

The only literal fence in the story is one that Troy's wife Rose wants him to build around their yard. Troy is very uncommitted to building the fence, much like his lack of commitment to his wife and marriage. Instead of working on this project he goes out and cheats on his wife. The purposeful barrier constructed by this affair is explained by Troy with, “...She gives me a different idea...a different understanding about myself. I can step out of this house and get away from the pressures and the problems...be a different man” (Wilson 1316). He sees his affair as a way to escape, when in actuality it just solidifies the divide between him...

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