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ENG 130 PU The Driving Conflict in August Wilson Fences Paper

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Running Head: The Driving Conflict in August Wilson’s Fences
The Driving Conflict in August Wilson’s Fences
ENG 130: Literature & COMP
Post University: School of arts and sciences.

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The Driving Conflict in August Wilson’s Fences 2
Introduction
Fences is a 1985 play by August Wilson that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1987. Set
in the 1950s, the play depicts some of the struggles many African-Americans went through at the
time. For instance, most were poor because racial discrimination against them prevented them
from accessing equal resources and opportunities as their white counterparts. The main events in
the play are influenced by conflicts in an African-American family, especially those between the
protagonist Troy and his family members. August Wilson uses the conflict of Troy vs. Family to
drive the other conflicts and elements of the story, as evidenced by Troy's strained relationship
with his father, sons, and wife.
Troy vs. Family
Troy and his friend Bono narrate their experiences with their fathers while growing up.
From Troy's story, readers gain insight into his underlying principles and beliefs that influence his
parenting style and how these experiences affect his relationship with his sons, Lyons, and Cory.
Troy explains that his father, a failed sharecropper, was an evil man who could not be tolerated by
any woman he married. As a result, most of the time, Troy did not have a mother growing up. His
biggest fight with his father happened when he was fourteen years old when his father beat him up
for letting a mule he was supposed to look after to wander off while he with a girl. His father went
on to even rape the girl driving the last nail in his relationship with Troy, who left home the
following day. Troy cites this event as when he became a man because he alienated himself from
his despicable father and started to feed for himself. “Right there is where I became a man… at
fourteen years of age” (Wilson, 1985,1,4,109). He became a firm believer in hard work, and he is
the sole breadwinner of his family. The conflict between Troy and his father shaped a sense of

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Running Head: The Driving Conflict in August Wilson’s Fences The Driving Conflict in August Wilson’s Fences ENG 130: Literature & COMP Post University: School of arts and sciences. The Driving Conflict in August Wilson’s Fences 2 Introduction Fences is a 1985 play by August Wilson that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1987. Set in the 1950s, the play depicts some of the struggles many African-Americans went through at the time. For instance, most were poor because racial discrimination against them prevented them from accessing equal resources and opportunities as their white counterparts. The main events in the play are influenced by conflicts in an African-American family, especially those between the protagonist Troy and his family members. August Wilson uses the conflict of Troy vs. Family to drive the other conflicts and elements of the story, as evidenced by Troy's strained relationship with his father, sons, and wife. Troy vs. Family Troy and his friend Bono narrate their experiences with their fathers while growing up. From Troy's story, readers gain insight into his underlying principles and beliefs that influence his parenting style and how these experiences affect his relationship with his sons, Lyons, and Cory. Troy explains that his father, a failed sharecropper, was an evil man who could not be tolerated by any woman he married. As a result, most of the time, Troy did not have a mother growing up. His biggest fight with his father happened when he ...
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