Fences: Day-to-Day Obstacles of the Average African American Essay examples

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In Fences, August Wilson strives to accurately depict the social and economic situations of the time period the play is set in. He uses the plots, characters, and the characters’ relationships with each other to show the day-to-day obstacles the average African American faces in the mid 1900s; and to show the various types of relationships between people during the time, from the black/white racial relationship to the relationship between man and woman. In particular, he uses Rose and Troy as examples of the typical relationship between a man and woman of the period – more specifically, he uses them to show the relationship and power structure between men and women. This relationship and power structure – the woman playing a …show more content…
When Troy admits his adultery, Rose says, “I done tried to be everything a wife should be. Everything a wife could be” (Wilson 1367). The “everything a wife should show” shows how the wife is viewed in the time period. By putting Troy’s wishes over her own, Rose has been what is viewed as a perfect wife – one who will sacrifice her desires for her husband’s. Rose also says to him, angry and bitter, “What about my life! … You not the only one who’s got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams… and I buried them inside of you” (Wilson 1369). Rose speaks of the things she gave up for Troy. In adopting the supportive role of wife, she lost herself to Troy in the process. Her acquiescence came at a price Troy does not acknowledge. In being the best wife she could – passive to Troy, obedient, the dependent woman and mother – Rose not only shows the unfair balance of power between her and Troy (the uneven sacrifices, as well) but also the way a lot of woman may have felt in the 50s and 60s, forced to defer to their husband’s desires. Troy, in contrast, does not give up what Rose does. The orthodox distribution of power between men and women in a relationship of this time is shown in Rose and Troy in the way that Troy wields power over Rose and is a strong, overriding force over her. When Troy is introduced, Wilson describes him

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