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Fences

Fences

by August Wilson

Fences Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Race

Most of Fences is set in the 1950s. There had been some progress made on race relations by this time, such as the integration of pro sports teams. However, on a whole, America had a really long way...

Men and Masculinity

Fences is often thought of as a father-son play. The main conflict centers around the tension between Troy Maxson and his son Cory. The play shows how Troy in many ways repeats the mistakes of his...

Mortality

Though there are only two actual deaths in Fences, mortality is a constant theme. Troy Maxson kicks it off by telling a story where he literally wrestled with Death and won. We get several monologu...

Dreams, Hopes, Plans

Troy Maxson, the protagonist of Fences, has had his dreams taken from him. He wanted more than anything to be a pro baseball player, but his career was stopped because of racial discrimination. The...

Family

Revolving around the trials and tribulations of the Maxson family, Fences is a great example of a family drama. We watch Troy struggle to fulfill his role as father to his son and husband to his wi...

Betrayal

Fences explores many different types of betrayal. Troy Maxson manages to betray just about everyone in his life: his son, his wife, his brother, and his best friend. Pretty much every character in...

Duty

There's lots of discussion about duty in Fences. Most of this involves the duty of a father to his family. Troy Maxson, the play's protagonist, seems to think that a father's only real duty is to p...

Dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction causes lots of trouble in Fences. The play's protagonist, Troy Maxson, is dissatisfied with his life. He's unhappy that his pro baseball dreams were stopped by racial discrimination...

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