Drama 120 – M. Perry
Response, Analysis and Interpretation of August Wilson’s Fences
Set in the late 1950’s, August Wilson’s Fences
explores African American culture, a
changing racial identity, and the complexity of relationships in families.
Personally, I enjoyed
the play’s ability to portray things as specific as shifting viewpoints among Blacks, and other
topics as general as father-son relationships.
It is in Wilson’s ability to relate to all audiences,
and then show how things were for African Americans that he truly succeeds as a playwright.
Finally, in recreating Act Two Scene Four in the form of a movie, I hoped to showcase how a
barebones approach to props and staging not only allows the actors to shine, but truly encourages
them to break out of their defined “job” and become the character they wish to portray.
While I did enjoy reading Fences
, I wish I could have seen the play in production.
didn’t have too hard of a time comprehending what Wilson was exploring in the story, so seeing
the play would have been helpful in reinforcing what I thought to be true of the characters.
so, I was glad to be able to identify and recognize the many relationships in the story.
none is greater than that of father-son between Troy and Cory, there also exists husband-wife,
mother-son, worker-coworker, and divorced husband-and-wife.
Each relationship changes as the
play goes on.
To illustrate the complex and ever-changing relationships in the play, one has to look no
further than Troy and Rose’s relationship.
It starts out in a state of mutual love but with a secret:
Troy is being unfaithful to Rose.
Bono tries to step in and tell Troy not to continue his immoral
behavior, but Troy doesn’t listen.
Eventually, Troy reveals to Rose that he is going to be the
father of a child by Alberta.
The news enrages Rose, who has been nothing but faithful
throughout her and Troy’s time together.
The connection between Rose and Troy is instantly
broken because of Troy’s decision, but Rose eventually finds it in her heart to help raise Raynell
when Alberta dies during birth.
In this way, Rose and Troy’s relationship goes from one of
husband and wife to a strange situation in which they live and raise a child together, but do not
have mutual feelings of love for one another.
Ultimately, then, Wilson succeeds in his realistic
portrayal of what such a relationship actually would be like.
In addition to recognizing the complexity of relationships in the play, I also explored the