What are some examples of symbolism in Fences? 

August Wilson’s, Fences is a play revolving around the lives of a typical family setting torn by conflicting issues and interests just like most families are. The title, “fence” is symbolic since it depicts how the characters cage themselves in or block others from them.  The failing Troy has experienced in the professional league makes him keep his son, Corey from the league thereby denying his son the opportunity to experience the league (Bogumil 40). Secondly, Troy feels trapped in his marriage; he feels that married life ties him to a lot of responsibilities. He consequently begins an affair with another woman, Alberta behind his wife’s back. He tries to rekindle what he lost or failed to achieve in his youth by engaging in this extramarital affair. He believes that he is still attractive.

On the other hand, Rose, his wife is fenced in marriage. She depicts the faithful wife who is confined in marriage with no other choice but to shoulder the responsibility of catering for her family carrying out the domestic chores, the gender role of a woman, despite the waywardness of her husband (Shannon 114).

Death is another significant symbolism in the play; Troy enjoys connecting death and the devil with racism. Racism is an ugly thing just like death is, as depicted by the death of his baseball ambition tied to racism (Shafer 129). Moreover, the death of Troy brings reconciliation to the family which comes back to reflect on the life of Troy.

The perspective of the author of this play is perfect in depicting the daily conflicts within the home front. Taking the family as a fence is a genius idea to justify the daily struggles by members within to escape the issues arising within while at the same time highlighting the forces that keep the family unit together (Worthington & Somers 131). Several themes can be observed therefore from within or without the family, fence.

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