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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in Fences

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Fences is chock full of baseball imagery, which takes on a lot of symbolic meaning. Troy was robbed of a professional baseball career because of his race. The shadow of this injustice has weighed o...

Setting

The play is set in the dirt yard of the Maxson house. We're told that it's a two-story brick house, set off a back alley. Two junky chairs sit on a porch that's in bad need of a paint job. All this...

Genre

The fact that this is a play makes it by definition a drama, a piece of literature meant to be spoken by actors in front of a live audience. This particular drama focuses on the trials and tribulat...

Tone

August Wilson's voice is a unique blend of African-American dialect and heightened poetry. The tone of Fences and the other plays manages to be incredibly approachable and lofty at the same time. W...

Writing Style

August Wilson's plays are almost always "realistic"; they have to do with everyday people in everyday situations. Almost all of his characters are black, and they speak in an African-American diale...

What's Up With the Title?

Fences looks like a simple title, but by the time you get to the end to the play, you just might see that it has lots of meanings. On the surface, it seems pretty obvious where the play's title com...

What's Up With the Ending?

The final moments of Fences are pretty darn awesome. On the day of Troy's funeral, his brother Gabriel returns to open the gates of heaven for him...and succeeds. Gabriel suffered a head wound duri...

Tough-o-Meter

Fences is a very accessible play. It's a realistic drama that's both funny and heartbreaking. Though its characters are complex, they're quite easy to relate to. The dialogue manages to sound like...

Plot Analysis

The life of a garbage manIn the play's opening scenes, we get a peek into the world of Troy Maxson. He's a hardworking garbage man dedicated to providing for his family. However, we learn that Troy...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Troy is dissatisfied with his lifeIn the opening scenes of the play, we see that Troy is deeply dissatisfied with his life. Racial discrimination put a stop to his dreams of being a professional ba...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The first act introduces us to all the major conflicts of the play. Troy is challenging racial discrimination at work. Bono, Troy's best friend, is suspicious that he might be having an affair. Gab...

Trivia

Wilson said his main influences were the four Bs: Borges, Baraka, Bearden, and the blues. (Source)Denzel Washington is set to star as Troy Maxson in a revival of Fences on Broadway. (Source)Bartlet...

Steaminess Rating

Troy singlehandedly gives the play its PG-13 rating. He definitely likes to talk a little dirty to his wife Rose and even does so in front of company. Troy also has an affair and a love child over...

Allusions

Uncle Remus (1.1.101) St. Peter (1.2.38)Babe Ruth (1.1.72)James Gibson (1.1.72)Selkirk (1.1.80, 1.3.188)Jackie Robinson (1.1.382)Hank Aaron (1.3.133)Satchel Paige (1.3.133)Sandy Koufax (1.3.134)War...
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