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In this play, "Fences," there are many different aspects of love.  I think there are all three types of love in the play.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  The relationships between Troy and his wife Rose and the relationship between Troy and the rest of his family.  Troy cheating on his wife would be the bad side of love. The relationships with his kids shows both the good and the ugly side of love.  Thoughout the play, I think that the author uses many symbols to help represent these feelings and relationships. The Fence being the main symbol that helps to show these types of love represented.

Good Love Relationship among friends

The play is based in 1950's Pittsburgh, when being a black man or woman came with certain expectations.  It started out with best friends Troy and Bono on a Friday night, payday, engaging in their only ritual they have.  Going out for drink after a long week of work.  The relationship they have together is one of a type of "brotherly love."  They are best friends.  They are discussing things that happen at work and also start talking about how Troy has a tendency to "eye" all the women. Not his wife.  He says "I eye all the women.  I don't miss nothing.  Don't never let nobody tell you Troy Maxson don't eye women." (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 63)  They go back and forth with eachother, like guy friends do.  Of the two men, Bono is the follower.  He

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has been friends with Troy for over 30 years.  This friendship is rooted in the admiration he has for Troy's honesty, hard work ethic, and strength.  

Troy and Rose - Ugly Love

Troy and Rose are married and have two sons.  Their marriage is one of both love and betrayal.  Mostly on the part of Troy.  Rose is 10 years younger than Troy.  She is devoted to Troy, not so much because of love, but also because she recognizes what her life would be like without him.  She knows she would have a life of abusive men and their children, partying, and running the streets or lifes pain and frustration.  She ignores his past indiscretions or forgives his faults as a man.  But she does love him.  Troy ruined his marriage with Rose because of an affair he had with another woman names Alberta.  However unlike Rose, who strives to build a fence around her family, "jesus be a fence all around me every day, jesus, i want you to protect me as I travel on my way."(Act 1,Scene 2, line 1) Troy shows he doesn't have the capacity to understand that Rose want to keep the family close because he never had a close family.

Bad Love - The Boys

Troy is  consistantly criticizing and neglecting his two sons, which in turn, draws them away from him. Troy pushes Lyons away by refusing to hear him play his jazz music.  Troy believes that Lyons only comes around when it benefits him.  "You was in the neighborhood alright, nigger.  You telling the truth there.  You was in the neighborhood cause it's my payday."(Act 1, Scene 1, line 358)  Lyons confirms this feeling by telling his father, "well hell, since you mentioned it...let me have ten dollars."(Act1,Scene 1, line 361)  Troy feels that he only comes around to get money when he needs it.  He also hurts his relationship with his other son, Cory, by preventing him from playing football and rejecting his only chance to get recruited by a college football team.  Troy is upset with Cory because he is supposed to help with the chores around the house, including fixing a fence around the yard.     Also, Troy states that Cory's things will "be on the other side of that fence" when he kicks Cory to the street. In this scene,  the fence is an actual, physical divide between him and his son.  

The many loving relationships in this play show the many facets of love.  The love of a strong, confident, successful man.  The feelings for the children and their accomplishments, and a mothers willingness and want to keep her family strong and whole.  This play shows all 3 aspects of love.  The good, the bad, and the ugly. The play "Fences" possesses many symbolic interpretations of the fence. Despite that there's only a single literal fence, there are a multitude of figurative fences throughout the play.  The many relationships and the manner in which they are brought about in the play, show the many sides of love within the play.

About the Author

August Wilson lived from 1945-2005.  He was raised in a small 2 bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was american playwright with 2 pulizers and several Tony award nominations.  He was raised by his african-american mother, who was abandonded by his german father.  His life experiences, along with his love of blues led Wilson to write plays where the central concern was the plight of blacks and the healing of black communities.  Wilson's body of work functions to show what life was like for black americans in the 20th century.  


Works Cited

"Fences." written by August Wilson. Literature, Craft and Voice. p.1489-1530  1986

"Analysis of August Wilson's Fences"  written by Chanin Storm.  web http://chaninstorm.hubpages.com/hub/Analysis-Of-August-Wilsons-Fences

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