Symbolism in Fences

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Symbolism in Fences In Fences, August Wilson has laid the foundation of many themes in this play. The storyline appears to be melodramatic through most of the play. The protagonist, Troy Maxon, is a talented man who was robbed of his baseball career because of his race. He suffers from oppression all throughout the story. This oppression turns him to a bitter man, causing him to eventually lose his friends and family. Wilson integrates literal and figurative symbolism to express the themes throughout the drama. In the setting of Fences, there are several symbols surrounding Troy Maxon and his family. The play takes place in the 1950s, prior to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Based on the social and economic conditions of African Americans at that time, society’s perception of Blacks were less than citizens, and the Southern United States was still officially segregated. Even African Americans in the North, were hindered by some unofficial racial barriers. As Burbank writes, “…this was also before the civil rights movement and shows that citizenship did not mean acceptance or understanding of the assimilated African American culture, or putting into the open the injustice of the past” (Burbank, 118). Here, Wilson is pushing for the audience to recognize this facet of the Maxon family. The time and place where the play takes place symbolizes and highlights the family’s struggles and oppression. The play has one scene throughout the play which is the dirt yard of the family’s home. In the scene, two chairs are sitting on a porch that is desperately in need of a paint job. This scene depicts the Maxon family isn’t very wealthy, and their attention for money is present. Near the tree there is a baseball made of rags and a baseball bat. The rags that make up the baseball could represent Troy’s lost dreams. It also implies that he is still
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