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Zuñiga 1 Citlalic Zuñiga Professor Jason Bryant ENG 200 16 November 2019 History is known to repeat itself and to be learned from. As time continues, people of the present can reflect on the past and learn that no one, not even the brightest, can escape death and see how the present and past intertwine. Both Wilson and Stoppard use time to impact the audience the significance of history and death by using different elements in their plays “Fences” and “Arcadia” respectively. “Fences” timeline of the past and present are juxtaposed with the use of flashbacks, real-time history, and a melody. In the other hand, “Arcadia” can show the affect by presenting the timeline simultaneously, using dialogue between century characters and the use of objects. Though both Wilson and Stoppard are both able to show how the past and present influence each other as well as showing how death conquers all, they use different elements to express this to the audience. First, in “Fences,” we see how Wilson can juxtapose the past and present by using flashbacks. There are two important flashbacks that affect the present, primarily is when Troy describes his childhood. Troy describes how we was brought up in a broken family where he had no mother and his father was full of evilness. Troy is never showed love or affection as a child and thus when he finally becomes a “man” after “whupping on [his father]” (52), he sets off at the age of fourteen with a negative outlook in life. Because of his upbringing, we can see how this affects Cory and Lyons. Unlike Troy’s father, Troy tries to be responsible towards his children the best way he can. Though he does this without affection, since he doesn’t know how,
Zuñiga 2 he shows it by either giving Lyons money or providing for Cory’s upbringing by not abandoning him. The second flashback that plays a role in the present, is Troy’s crushed dreams. In addition to Troy not being shown affection and love as a child, he was also exposed to rejection as an adult. Since Troy was rejected from the major leagues, this then influences his decision to reject Cory’s scholarship opportunity. Troy explains his decision by saying, “…That way you have something can’t nobody take away from you. You go on and learn how to put your hands to some good use. Besides hauling people’s garbage” (35). Thus, Troy’s past is again affecting how he treats Cory, by crushing his dreams before they crush him. The audience can see side by side of how Troy’s dreams and Cory’s dreams are both getting rejected by time.

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