Literature Studies: the Play “Fences” by August Wilson

Pages: 2
Words: 565


The present paper dwells upon production of the play by August Wilson entitled Fences. It is necessary to note that the play is often seen as a valuable “portrayal of the social and psychological effects of discrimination” of African Americans as well as their ways to address the issues they have to face (Bloom 30). The play depicts several episodes from the life of Troy and his family.

Notably, Troy tries to provide for his family. He is also trying to confront some societal norms and fights for his rights and wants his employer to give “everybody chance to drive the truck” (Wilson 3). However, he also confronts his family and makes his close ones follow his rules.

I believe the play should be produced as a part of the drama program as students have to be exposed to a number of important issues to think of and make important conclusions.

Why Students Should See It?

Racial Discrimination

In the first place, the play touches upon a topic which is still debatable. Racial discrimination is still a matter of concern in the American society. More so, young people should know about experiences of African Americans when they took their first steps for their civil rights. Thus, Troy’s desire to prove that African Americans were equally good in completing different tasks including driving is remarkable.

However, his attitude towards baseball is quite controversial as he emphasizes that “a hundred niggers play baseball better” than one white player but he does not want his son to play the game (Wilson 10). Thus, Troy is a fighter but he is quite passive.

He wants equality but he sees that the society is full of discrimination. This is an important message for young people as they can see fears of African Americans in that distant time. They can also recognize themselves in their fears to pursue their dreams.

Different Approaches

Apart from social issues, the play addresses the concept of personal choices. The play depicts different approaches to life and students should see which of them are effective and which lead nowhere. Thus, Troy sees his life as a struggle with “Mr. Death” (Wilson 77). He tries to win the battle in a variety of non-existent situations. He is a dreamer. His death can show that being a dreamer all the time can have really negative outcomes.

Troy’s wife Rose is a good contraposition to Troy. She is a practical woman who actually keeps the family together. Her desire to have a fence around their house is a symbolic representation of her desire to keep her family safe from the wrongs of the outer world. She is a strong woman who manages to keep the family safe as she keeps taking care of her children.


I strongly recommend that the play Fences should be produced as a part of the drama program. The play will provide insights into African Americans’ struggle for their civil rights and the way they lived their lives in a highly segregated society.

At the same time, students will also be exposed to numerous ethical dilemmas and important questions to answer. One of these questions will be concerned with the way they live and see their lives. Students will be able to find their own balance between being a dreamer and a practical person as this will be important for their future life.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. August Wilson. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing, 2009. Print.

Wilson, August. Fences. New York, NY: Plume, 1986. Print.