Fences Analysis

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In Fences, August Wilson shows how negative behaviors, traits, and characteristics of a parent can be passed down to their children through symbolism and personification. Wilson uses the symbolism of a fence to illustrate the things that Troy wants to keep out of his life. For example after Troy and Cory have a huge fight, Cory asks for his things and Troy replies by saying “They’ll be on the other side of that fence.” This shows that Troy wants to keep the things he’s willing to care for on the inside area of the fence. Wilson wants the readers to see that the fence represents a physical wall and also an emotional wall that Troy has put up between himself and Cory. The symbol of the fence is also used when Troy says “Mr. Death… I’m gonna build me a fence around what belongs to me. And I want you to stay on the other side.” This shows that Troy also fears and does not welcome death upon himself and his family. Wilson wants to show that the fence also symbolizes the barrier Troy wants to put up between him and death. Wilson uses the fence to symbolize the physical and emotional walls Troy puts up between himself and the people around him. Wilson uses personification to show how Troy has battled with and is trying to keep Death away. For example when Troy says “I got cold as Ice and Death standing there grinning at me”, Wilson is telling us that Troy has experienced a brush with death. This shows that Troy is willing to fight with death until the very last moments. Wilson wants his readers to see that Troy is willing to fight Death and thinks of death as an enemy of his. Wilson also uses personification when Troy says “Death stood up , throwed on his robe … had him a white robe with a hood on it”. Troy is depicting death as a Ku Klux Klan member and is saying that death could come for him anytime. Wilson wants the readers to know that Troy may slightly fear death

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