Read Fences by August Wilson Online

fences

The author of the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, returns with another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him new critical acclaim and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of FENCES, Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be - to survive. For Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and blacThe author of the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, returns with another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him new critical acclaim and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of FENCES, Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be - to survive. For Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black was to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But now the 1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s... a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can...a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less......

Title : Fences
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780785796114
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fences Reviews

  • Brina
    2019-03-09 17:47

    Fences, a new movie starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, is a Pulitzer Prize winning drama by August Wilson. Part of Wilson's Century cycle of plays each depicting one decade of African American life during the 20th century, Fences takes us back to the 1950s when African Americans were first beginning to make inroads into white society. Troy Maxson has been married to Rose for eighteen years. A family man, he has worked as a garbage collector alongside his closest friend Bono during this time. Although steady pay, the two men wonder why only white men can drive trucks while Negros collect trash. This leads Troy to question his union boss and take his grievances to a commission. In the years between Jackie Robinson integrating baseball and the passage of the Civil Rights Act, it was not likely for Maxson to achieve his promotion. Meanwhile, Rose has been steady by his side as a typical 1950s housewife. She desires the best for their son Cory, who has been offered a football scholarship at a North Carolina university. Troy rather than looking toward the future, is rooted in the past, partially bitter and reminiscing that he never had a shot at the major leagues. A recurring theme in Wilson's Century plays, the playwright has multiple characters with an eye toward achieving the American dream with one protagonist living in his traditions of the past. In Fences, Troy Maxson is this such character as he would rather that Cory follow in his footsteps than be his own person. Additionally, Troy has to look out for his brother Gabe, who had been disabled during World War II, and Lyons, a son from a first marriage. Each character in this drama would like a slice of the pie during a decade that is the crossroads of the 20th century. As Jackie Robinson has achieved the ultimate American dream, African Americans believe that anything is possible. This is embodied in Cory who desires to play football and earn a college education. This puts Rose in a precarious situation because during the 1950s, her position was to value her husband's position rather than her own opinion. These powerful characters create a poignant prose and memorable second act. Fences first starred James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson. One of the premier actors of the last fifty years, I would have loved to see him in this role. August Wilson has created a legacy in his Century cycle plays, four of which earned the Pulitzer and other multiple awards. Having read the Piano Lesson and Fences, I am looking forward to reading the Cycle to its completion at the end of the century. A powerful drama, Fences is deserving of its Pulitzer and five star rating.

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-02-28 13:43

    What a paradoxal character Troy is.You could analyse him for hours!

  • BillKerwin
    2019-03-07 14:56

    Whenever I think of Troy, I think of James Earl Jones, the man who created the part. Sure, I saw Denzel Washington in the movie, and Denzel is pretty good in it too, but Troy should be played by a man tall enough and broad enough for tragedy: a massive man, with a massive voice, like ol’ Daddy Darth Vader his own self.August Wilson’s Fences--the greatest play written by an African-American and one of the finest plays written by anybody anywhere—is the story of middle-aged Troy Maxson, once a legendary hitter of the Negro League but now a trash collector in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is an admirable man, in his own way, dedicated to fulfilling his responsibilities as a breadwinner to his wife and their son. But a life of economic and emotional impoverishment—first as the son of a vicious sharecropper, later as prisoner, and then as a black ball player with no opportunity to compete in the major leagues—has left him bitter, shriveled up inside, unavailable to the people who love him.As we watch this damaged man make choices, most of which prove to be wrong, we feel both pity and terror for him, at his growing fear of death, at the great waste that has become his life. Yet we never quite feel we are witnessing a tragedy, for Troy, magnificent as he is, as noble as destiny has formed him, has been fenced in by poverty and racism so thoroughly that even a small tragedy—like Willy Loman’s, for example—will be forever denied him. A tragic hero deprived of tragedy: that is Troy Maxson’s fate. Yet the play nevertheless ends with something like an apotheosis: in his wife’s Rose summing up (“I don’t know if he was right or wrong … but I do know he meant to do more good than he meant to do harm”); in his two children who sing again an old song Troy once sang; and in his brain-damaged brother Gabriel, who raises a trumpet to his lips to blow his brother past St. Peter's Gate, right into his fenced-in heavenly home.I’ll conclude with Troy’s last soliloquy, spoken to Death after Death has come for the mother of his newborn daughter:Alright...Mr. Death. See now...I’m gonna tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna take and build me a fence around this yard. See? I’m gonna build me a fence around what belongs to me. And then I want you to stay on the other side. See? You stay over there until you’re ready for me. Then you come on. Bring your army. Bring your sickle. Bring your wrestling clothes. I ain’t gonna fall down on my vigilance this time. You ain’t gonna sneak up on me no more. When you ready for me...when the top of your list say Troy Maxson...that’s when you come around here. You come up and knock on the front door. Ain’t nobody else got nothing to do with this. This is between you and me. Man to man. You stay on the other side of that fence until you ready for me. Then you come up and knock on the front door. Anytime you want. I’ll be ready for you.

  • Majenta
    2019-03-26 20:03

    I read this in college for my "The Drama" course. I'm looking forward to watching the film.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-03-16 13:49

    Description: "In his work, Mr. Wilson depicted the struggles of black Americans with uncommon lyrical richness, theatrical density and emotional heft, in plays that give vivid voices to people on the frayed margins of life." The New York TimesFrom August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson's ten-part Pittsburgh Cycle plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the 1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s, a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can, a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less.Oscar:2* La La Land6* Hidden Figures4* Fences4* Florence Foster Jenkins

  • Sr3yas
    2019-03-13 16:54

    3.5 Stars1987 Pulitzer prize winner for drama"Some people build fences to keep people out and other people build fences to keep people in"Fences is a very interesting period drama set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the year is 1957. The story is all about Troy, a 53 years old African-American and his family. We get to experience Troy's relationship with various members of the play and each of them is unique. We are exposed to many themes here: Racism, family values, relationships, and death are some of them. But the story thrives on the complicated characterization of Troy. He is one character you'll never be able to figure out. Seriously, I've never read a character as complicated as Troy. He does a lot of damage in this play, but he could've done worse and he didn't. Does that make him a better person? Oh, Troy. You got to me real good here.Overall, read this for the complexity of our lead character.Can't wait to watch Denzel Washington's take on the character!--------------------------------------UpdateAnd Denzel Washington did an admirable job bringing life to Troy in the movie. So did others.The movie adapts the play completely (line-by-line) and adds some more materials to the story. So If you've seen the movie, you've experienced the play!

  • Adira
    2019-03-05 18:06

    I highly recommend this play! I saw it performed live in the West End and was blown away. The play itself has so many raw pieces of the African-American culture woven into it that you can't help, but feel as if Wilson is talking to you as he writes the play. It sort of feels like he looked into a piece of your soul and wrote what was hidden deep inside of it. Even if you're not of African or African-American descent, you'll find something in this play to love. The play is a quick read and worth watching if you ever get a chance to see it performed live.**Update: Go see the film with Denzel Washington and Viola David. It will make you cry just because of the simplicity and deepness of the production. P.S. Denzel was robbed of that Oscar!

  • نقد روز
    2019-03-06 18:10

    در پرده اول، صحنه چهارم، هم تروی و هم بونو داستان های دوران کودکی و سختی های خود را شبیه وضعیت لیونز می دانند. این خاطرات اغلب دردناک آن ها بستری فراهم می کند برای این که به شباهت ها و تفاوت های نسل تروی و بونو با لیونز و کوری پی ببریم. هم چون بسیاری از سیاهپوست هایی که بعد از لغو برده داری زندگی می کرده اند، پدر تروی هم یک مساقات کار ناموفق بوده است (مساقات قراردادی میان صاحب مزرعه با عامل است که متعهد می‌گردد مراقبت و رسیدگی از جمله آبیاری نسبت به مزرعه داشته باشد و در نهایت محصول به‌دست‌آمده به نسبتی که قبلاً توافق کرده‌بودند، میان هر دو تقسیم شود). تروی ادعا می کند پدرش به حدی بدطینت بوده که هیچ زنی موفق نمی شده مدت زیادی با او بماند. به همین دلیل تروی عمدتا بدون مادر بزرگ شده است. وقتی تروی چهارده ساله بوده است، پدرش متوجه می شود قاطری که تروی همیشه مراقبتش بوده رها شده است. پدر تروی را با یک دختر می بیند و با افسار اسب به شدت تروی را کتک می زند. تروی در ابتدا فکر می کند پدرش تنها به خاطر نافرمانی اوست که عصبانی شده است. ولی اتفاقی که بعدتر می افتد، شخصیتی نفرت انگیز را از پدر نشان می دهد. پدر بعد از کتک زدن تروی به دختر تجاوز می کند. از آن لحظه به بعد تروی برای همیشه از پدرش می ترسد. از همان لحظه به بعد، تروی متوجه می شود که دیگر یک مرد شده است. او دیگر نمی تواند با مردی که چنین جنایتی مرتکب شده زیر یک سقف زندگی کند. بنابراین با وجود این که هیچ پول و سرمایه و خویشاوندی ندارد، خانه را ترک می کند. از نظر تروی، مرد شدن یعنی جدا شدن از تنش ها و بدرفتاری های پدر. مهم ترین حسی که تروی برای آن ارزش قائل است و به آن افتخار می کند، مسئولیت پذیری است. پدر تروی مسئولیت یازده بچه را برعهده داشته است و حال تروی هم تنها نان آور خانواده اش هست. بونو اما از پدر متفاوت تری صحبت می کند. هم چون پدر تروی، پدر بونو هم شخصی عبوس و کج خلق بوده است. ولی برعکس پدر تروی، پدر بونو هیچ گاه مسئولیت خانواده و خرج آن ها را بر عهده نگرفته است. در اصل او همیشه بین زن های مختلف رفت و آمده می کرده است. بونو اصلا هیچ شناختی از پدرش ندارد. او می گوید که پدرش هم چون دیگر آفریقایی آمریکایی های هم نسلش به دنبال پیدا کردن یک سرزمین تازه بوده است. با آزاد شدن سیاه پوست ها از چنگ برده داری، بسیاری از آن ها با هدف فرار از چنگ مساقات کاری و پیدا کردن یک زندگی بهتر، طی اتفاقی که در تاریخ «مهاجرت بزرگ» لقب گرفته است، به سمت شمال به ویژه شهرهای مرکز کشور حرکت کردند. بی مسئولیتی پدر به حدی بوده است که بونو تصمیم می گیرد هیچ گاه پدر نباشد، مبادا پسر او هم به چنین سرنوشتی دچار شود. ولی برعکس تصورات بونو، این شیوه زندگی پدر بیش تر به خاطر خلق و خوی شخصی اوست نه فرار از مسئولیت های خانواده. برعکس پدر، بونو به همسر خود لوسیل وفادار است و هجده سال با او زندگی می کند. ادامه نقد در سایت نقد روز:http://naqderooz.ir/g1

  • Debbie
    2019-03-21 13:04

    Fences is PhenomenalWhat a wonderful play. I wish I had seen the original starring James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson and Mary Alice as Rose. At the beginning of the book it lists the original players and mentally they fit perfectly. I pictured them the whole time. Even though I have never seen this live there is so much life in August Wilson's words that just reading it you can almost see the play. I feel the need to apologize to the memory of August Wilson for living in his birth city and the location of many of his plays and am just now venturing into appreciating his work. August Wilson was born right home here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the Hill District, where I had friends living in this area and I went to church every single week through most of my childhood. Although he was from a different time period than I, it was amazing reading this play and feeling so connected as it took place in my town. There was mention of the Pirates and before them one of our Negro League teams, the Homestead Grays. Two local hospitals that are still around Mercy and Passavant were mentioned. Troy mentions his promotion to a garbage route through Greentree vs the previous one through Hazelwood, two places I'm familiar with. Lyons, Troy's son plays gigs with bands at the Historic Crawford Grill. It felt wonderful reading a book/play that takes place in my town. Responsibility and Family are the two main themes of this play. The word responsibility is repeated various times throughout this play. The jacket synopsis gives a good description and I don't want to spoil this for anyone because it is a must read. If it plays in your city, it is a must see. There is resounding lessons. Regardless of life's disappointments and curve balls, nothing is more important then family and taking care of ones responsibility. I love the dialogue. It's only 100 pages. I recommend this whole heartedly. A friend and I just discussed how all of August's plays should be required reading in our city public schools. I will definitely be reading more plays by him and running to the nearest public theater that puts one on. Perfection. 7 Deb stars/5GR.Addendum: I can't wait to see this movie with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis filmed right here in Pittsburgh. I actually happened to see them filming a little bit as I happened to drive past their filming site. Looking forward to comparing the book to the movie and looking for all the familiar landmarks.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-26 14:00

    ميشه نظر نداد؟! ميشه نظر نداشت؟! بايد فكر كنم!پايان بندي، روابط خانوادگي، كاراكتر"رز" و تا حد زيادي "تروي" با مرگ فروشنده مو نميزد، چرا؟!

  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    2019-03-11 20:01

    No surprise - great play - an August Wilson play. An average black man in the 1950's - trying his best to make his way in an average American city. Working hard, looking for more, and knowing that his chances are slim to none. The expectations of his wife and children, his expectation of himself and running from both. Responsibilities, vulnerabilities, infidelities and expectations are all witnessed in this short play. This will be a movie in 2017. Reenacted by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis from their original award winning play on Broadway.

  • Rick
    2019-03-26 11:48

    Fences, the sixth in the ten play cycle by August Wilson, takes place in 1957, two years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, ten years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line that by a so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” kept African-American players out of the major leagues (but two years before the Red Sox became the last team to include a black player on their team), six years before the March on Washington, seven and eight years before the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In other words, it takes place during the early years of a slow, long delayed and much resisted change. For Troy Maxson, a garbage man who according to his friend had only two ballplayers better than him, Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson, the change is not just over-due but too late. He’s gruff and bitter about his own denied opportunities. “There ought not never have been no time called too early.”Troy is supported by a devoted wife, Rose, and a great friend, Bono, but he’s struggling with the times, challenging his bosses about the fact that there are no Negro drivers among the city’s garbage men, trying to raise his sons his way while they push for their own way, and wrestling with temptations related to love and identity. Fences is one of Wilson’s best plays and has the street poetry dialogue, the blend of folk wisdom and superstition, of the personal and societal, and the ever presents shadows of history and race that are characteristic of his work.While times are changing, to what degree they are changing and the cost of the changing is far from clear in 1957. Selma and Birmingham and the Mississippi Summer are yet to come; Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King’s assassinations are six, eight and eleven years away. As with its beginning, segregation will be supported by violent acts of terrorism through its end. So Troy’s bitterness is earned, his courage in advocating for equality of opportunity in the workplace is real and his suspicion of the permanence of any incremental change is not just reluctance to adjust. His refusal to let his son Corey talk to a college recruiter about a football scholarship is in fact a swamp of motivations: fear, jealousy, suspicion. “The white man ain’t gonna let you get nowhere with that football noway. You go on and get your book learning so you can work yourself up in that A&P or learn how to fix cars or build houses or something, get you a trade….You go on and learn how to put your hands to some good use. Besides hauling people’s garbage.” Equally complex and all too human are the personal battles Troy fights. Wilson turns the mundane into something epic; something personal into the universal.Fences is a play about family, responsibility, love, friendship, and respect. The relationships between Rose and Troy, between Troy and his brother Gabriel, whose brain was damaged in World War II, between Troy and Corey, and between Troy and Bono are each richly complex and compelling. It is a drama, not a tragedy. It has moments of uplift and of sorrow. Troy is a human figure, strong, mostly decent and upright, though not always, and flawed. He is a less melodramactic, less hysterical Lear but a more human and deserving one. (There are no bodies strewn around the stage but lives are.) The secondary characters are full-bodied and with the efficiency of Hemingway Wilson lets a bit of dialogue, an exchange that has the roots of pattern in it, stand not just for the moment but for the history and character of those involved. He is a master at getting us recognize much in little. Fences is a bittersweet drama, compassionate, moving, and thoughtful.

  • Eryn☘
    2019-03-04 18:51

    1 StarI really did not enjoy this. Literally, I could not find one thing that I enjoyed in this play. Nothing. There was not one character I could connect to or identity with. So, if I wasn't bored, I was mad at Troy for being so blatantly sexist. Honestly, plays just aren't my thing, so I cannot wait until the day I no longer have to read them for English classes.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-12 17:50

    A great American drama. The writing is masterful, obviously, but what struck me most on this first reading is the complexity of responses that Wilson evokes from the reader/audience. I am a middle aged Caucasian AP Lit teacher, so while some might expect my reactions to center on the African American experience, what struck me first was the recognizable conflicts between father and son, husband and wife, man and woman. I felt a kinship to Troy, Cory and Rose, even while I watched the fruits (consequences?) of a life experience for which I had no frame of reference. I felt "it shouldn't be this way" while I acknowledged "isn't this the way it always is?" I did expect more plot, but Fences plays more as a reflection or observation of a life past than a trip through the life. Somewhat like Oedipus, the action happens offstage, yet the sting is just as painful. I already find myself placing it on a shelf with Williams and Miller. I will not be forgetting this any time soon, and I look forward to seeing it live.

  • Deirdre Keating
    2019-03-17 15:03

    Aidan has been telling me to read this since his Honors English class read it in October. I finally picked it up (to better understand the essay he wrote about it) and devoured it in an hour or two. Talk about dense story-telling! Closer to poetry in a way, capturing so much in so few words. I will never forget Troy, who reminded me of a more-alive version of Willy Loman. Highly recommended.

  • Josh Caporale
    2019-03-01 17:57

    Fences is a play about race. It is also a play written about family struggles that any family can relate to and endure, but to be a black family in 1957 is an even greater challenge. August Wilson does an outstanding job capturing the moment through the primary perspective of a 53-year-old garbageman in Troy Maxson and a family that can be described as typical in the way that they are everything BUT typical. Fences is the kind of play that is easy to read, but at the same time it makes you want to see it acted out. Troy Maxson lives with his second wife, Rose, as well as his teenaged son, Cory, who goes to school, works part-time at A&P, but wants to become a football player. Frequently making visits are his best friend and co-worker, Jim Bono, his oldest son from his first marriage, Lyons, who is frequently asking for money, and his brother, Gabriel (referred to as "Gabe"), who was injured in the war and is frequently singing praises of when St. Peter will make his arrival. The family encounters their individual hardships, but each of them go through Troy in some way, shape, or form. Troy is old school in how he believes in labor-based work in order to obtain success and respect from his wife and children. He disapproves of Cory's interest in football and Lyons' interest in music, while he himself finds solace in escaping from the house to watch baseball at the bar. The theme of baseball is something that one should keep a clear eye on when reading. There is a lot that can be critically analyzed in this play and baseball is one of them and one with great example. The fences that are being built on their property and the fact that there are no white people in this play is another.Fences really made me think and it is something that will continue to make me think. It is especially a great reminder to the fact that people are people and their desires and struggles are all the same depending on their circumstances. Being degraded because of your race is only a greater hardship to what already is a great deal of hardships. I feel that this play does a great job capturing the hardships of each of the characters and developing a backstory and everything else we may need to know about them. Everybody is as fleshed out as we feel they need to be and I think August Wilson levels it out exactly the way he feels it should be. The emphasis on the fences is not as strong as it could have been, but perhaps it would be up to the reader to make that connection. Nevertheless, it was a very thought-provoking read that I would recommend.The play was written and acted out in 1985 with James Earl Jones in the leading role of Troy Maxson. It was readapted in 2010 and became adapted into a film 2016 with Denzel Washington as Troy and Viola Davis as Rose. This is definitely something I would be keen on keeping an eye out to watch. Reading the script made its viewership very, VERY convincing!You can find the Literary Gladiators discussion of this book that I took part in (containing spoilers) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyYUJ...

  • El
    2019-03-07 13:45

    This was the ninth and last of the Pittsburgh-related books I was able to get to out of the total of 10 before last night's Battle of the Books tournament.Much like most of my reading experiences, this is probably something I read in high school for class and then remembered nothing about it. Or maybe, now that I live in Pittsburgh, it is so highly referenced (for good reason) that it became one of those plays that I just figured I read, even though maybe I didn't actually.This is a quick read, much like most other plays, and it's fantastic. Premiered in 1985, the events in the play begin in the 1950s in Pittsburgh. A lot of familiar places are mentioned in this play for those of us who live here, but I don't think the actual neighborhood where Troy Maxson and his family live is referred to by name. (I have not yet seen the Denzel Washington movie, so if it's more evident in that, I don't know about it yet.) Troy is a 50-something-year-old who spends a great deal of his time (as many do) on the porch with his buddy, Bono. The frequent porch-sitting made me think of another local story, though much more recent than Fences, Here Lies Memory by Doug Rice.Maxson is an angry man, but he's been through some shit so it's almost understandable. It's difficult, however, to remember that when we see his interactions with those closest to him, or his decisions in his relationships. He gives everyone a hard time - his son from a previous relationship, his son from the current relationship, even, to some degree, his wife, though Rose does not have one bit of a problem reminding Troy where he really stands. Rose is, by far, the most interesting character and I cannot wait to see Viola Davis's portrayal of her. The only person who Troy seems to have compassion for that he does not also want to control in some way is his brother, Gabriel, who was wounded during the war which has permanently diminished his mental and psychological capacity.I read this play in over a couple of days, and had it been a weekend I could have easily read it in one sitting. It's a powerful story that Wilson tells here, and the relationship between Troy and the various family members and with himself is skillfully portrayed. I am intrigued by the past, current, and future nature of his children - one from a previous marriage, one with his current wife, and one with another woman. Here is a man who is not comfortable in his place in life, never certain of his role, but he's been the boss for so long it's his way or the highway. I wanted to understand Troy and why he was so hard on his sons especially, but the way he pushes everyone away (essentially builds a fence around himself - a fence which both protects on the inside and prevents anyone from the outside coming in - METAPHOR) makes it difficult to appreciate his perspective. (Which just means that Wilson did an amazing job, btw, not that I can't enjoy the read because of Troy as a character.)It's not a simple read, though on the outside it's easy to be like "Oh, yeah, okay, fences, yup, got it." These characters have depth which normally in plays (for me anyway) is hard to recognize unless I'm watching the performance itself. I can imagine the set, the direction, the tension that must be felt in the theater while watching this performance. I would have loved to have seen the original cast which included both James Earl Jones and Courtney B. Vance. But I also look forward to finally watching the movie which I have been putting off so I could (re?)read the play.I was surprised that this was included in the Battle of the Books (this is another one where I was able to answer all of the questions about this book correctly) initially, but after reading it I fully understand. Wilson lived in Pittsburgh for much of his life, I believe, and it's interesting to me how much of his Pittsburgh knowledge (history, culture, even some of the language) came through in his 100-page two act play just through the characters, though through Troy Maxson most of all.This is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and it deserves every bit of that award.

  • Maya B
    2019-02-26 19:03

    I enjoyed this play. August wilson brings to light how difficult it was for african-americans to survive during segregated times. It was written as a drama with a dash of comedy. Wilson also gave an outstanding visual of family dynamics. I'm glad I read it and I cant wait for the movie to come out December 25th

  • Sidik Fofana
    2019-03-02 12:00

    SIX WORD REVIEW: For Negro leaguers banned from majors.

  • Laura
    2019-03-09 14:01

    A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.A movie was made based on this play, with Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson . Directed by Denzel Washington.

  • Lulu
    2019-03-05 19:46

    Loved it!!! Wish I could see the play, can't wait to see the movie!

  • Phillip III
    2019-03-17 14:42

    1 Minute Video Book Review:https://youtu.be/t2WB_oa6XFM"Can't visit the sins of the father upon the child."A few summers back, August Wilson's play, FENCES, was performed at a local theater. I missed every performance. That was upsetting. I love seeing plays. Recently, I saw that FENCES was being made into a major motion picture with Denzel Washington. With renewed interest, I ordered the play, and read it in one sitting.FENCES is set in the 1950s. The Acts mostly take place on Fridays. Payday. On the porch of a small house, with a dirt yard, we meet Troy Maxson, his wife Rose, their son Cory, Troy's other son, Lyons, and Troy's disabled brother, Gabe, and, additionally, Bono, Troy's lifelong friend.Unfortunately, Troy is not a likeable man. Although he'd lived a hard life, his life is spent in the past. Despite having left home at fourteen, and spending fifteen years in prison for murder, he married, landed a good job as a garbage man, and started a family. His once dreamed of playing professional baseball. Too many things were stacked against him. The fact he was black became the tallest obstacle, and an impossible hurdle.Hard working, Troy has little time for his boys. Lyons is in his thirties, and doesn't work. He is a musician, and despite having no money, and begging for cash from his father, it is clear Lyons wants to, in some way, salvage his relationship with his father. His constant pleas for Troy to come down to the club where his band plays scream for attention that time, and again, Troy ignores.Rose's and Troy's son, Cory, is athletic. His football playing might land him a scholarship into college. A recruiter is anxious to discuss terms with Troy. Determined his son is living in a fantasy, Troy continually gives Cory a hard time, setting unrealistic goals with little care of the consequences.Gabe, Troy's younger brother, fought in World War II. A plate in his head has him believing he is the Arch Angel Gabriel. The government checks helped Troy make ends meet, but when Gabe moves out, hard feelings set in.Troy likes to make everyone believe he is smarter than he is. He wants people to know he is strong, and in charge. He is the King of his Castle. Ruler over Rose, and Cory, and even Lyons. What he says, goes. He is harsh, and brash, and obnoxious. Calloused, and careless.His mistakes continually pile up. He makes one bad call after another. And then, when his reality is there facing him, ready to wrestle -- he has no one to blame for the outcome, except himself."You went back on yourself Troy. You gonna have to answer for that." The thing is, I don't think Troy ever truly gets it. I don't think he ever understands that he was the problem. And that, for me, was the tragedy. That was what made this story so sad, and depressing. Troy never got it. He just never got it.FENCES is a fantastic, taut play. I am going to have to read more August Wilson. No doubt about it. The messages were there. Clear, and not so subtle, and I loved the story.Phillip TomassoAuthor of the Severed Empire Series, andThe Vaccination Trilogy

  • Dusty
    2019-03-09 19:47

    Suddenly, this play about an African American garbageman struggling to accept middle age and mortality is everywhere. It is printed in nearly all of the literature anthologies I have been thumbing through for my upcoming class on "Literary Diversity," and it has been turned into a movie starring the apparently Oscar-worthy team of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. I figured it was time I stopped planning to read it and, you know, actually read it.Like Death of a Salesman and so many other theatrical classics, Fences is a family drama that interrogates modern ways of living by highlighting the tensions that arise between husbands and wives, parents and children. In this case, the family belongs to Troy Maxson, a physically imposing man who might have become a Hall of Fame baseball player, not a garbageman, if the major league teams had been open to "Negro" players when he was a younger man. When the play begins, Troy is surrounded by a wife and two children who love him but, to Troy's annoyance, accept his stories about his youthful glory days as tall tales rather than truth. (At one point, his friend Bono compares him to Uncle Remus.) Troy's younger son is finishing high school and being recruited by a college football team, but Troy refuses to meet with the recruiter or sign the necessary papers. It is unclear whether the father stands in the son's way because he wants to protect him from having his hopes dashed by "the white man" or because he is jealous that his son has the opportunity to become a famous athlete that he was denied just a few decades earlier.Whether I end up teaching the play or not (probably not), I am glad I gave it a read, and I look forward to seeing how it is updated and adapted for the new movie. I am tempted to descend into a list of cliches about how expertly crafted the Troy character is and how well the text highlights the mixture of pride and resentment that a talented African American man like Troy must feel to see the world "improving" for children who do not appreciate how good they have it or how many sacrifices he has made for them. But I will just leave it at this: Fences earns its reputation as a classic and remains as relevant today as it was when it was first being performed in the early 1980s.

  • Chin Hwa
    2019-03-10 11:55

    My first August Wilson play, _Fences_ paints a very grim and gripping picture of a hard-hit black family. This is the story of a man who saw his chance come and gone; a father with too much pride; a wife who gave everything in loving fidelity; and a son who must learn to forgive his father who 'done him wrong'. One of the most poignant scenes is when Rose, the protagonist's wife, discovers Troy Maxon has been unfaithful to her and fathered another child. Here's her heartbreaking speech:Troy: Rose, you're not listening to me. I'm trying the best I can to explain it to you. It's not easy for me to admit that I been standing in the same place for eighteen years.Rose: I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you. Don't you think I ever wanted other things? Don't you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me. Don't you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make me laugh so I could feel good? 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 you. I planted a seed and waited and prayed over it. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom, and it didn't take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn't never gonna bloom. But I held on to you, Troy, I held you tighter. You was my husband. I owed you everything I had. Every part of me I could find to give you. And upstairs in that room... with the darkness falling in on me ... I gave everything I had to try and erase the doubt that you wasn't the finest man in the world, and wherever you was going ... I wanted to be there with you. Cause you was my husband. Cause that's the only way I was gonna survive as your wife. You always talking about what you give ... and what you don't have to give. But you take too. You take... and don't even know nobody's giving!' (67-68)Incredible!

  • Blue
    2019-03-21 16:55

    Every time I read another play written by August Wilson I think it is my most favorite. I have now concluded, for me, it is impossible to choose a favorite one from his plays. Each play is significantly satisfying in its own way. This play happens in the late Fifties. Troy Maxson is married to Rose Maxson. They have two sons, Lyons and Corey. Troy's brother also stays at the house. His name is Gabriel. Family and friends call Gabriel Gabe.Troy seems to be the radius of the other characters. He is like the sun. The other characters are like the rays. Troy constantly talks about or works on a fence. He says the fence is to keep death out. In his mind as long as the family nestles behind the fence under his controlling "shadow," they will remain safe from harm. It is not shocking that Troy never completely finishes the fence. Just as he is never completely matures. He doesn't walk through life. He runs through life by hurting his wife, sons, Gabe and Alberta. Troy is like a warrior who is growing ancient. As he ages, he talks openly to death. Also, as he ages, his life seems to stagnate while the other characters are able to move forward in life."I'm gonna build me a fence around what belongs to me. And then I want you to stay on the other side...Bring your wrestling clothes...You ain't gonna sneak up on me no more. Then, you come up and knock on the front door. Anytime you want. I'll be ready for you." Act 2 Scene III think inside any conqueror there is a bed of fear. I sense this fright in Troy. Although, he would like to be remembered as a brave man who won all his battles.

  • Kristy Miller
    2019-03-15 17:48

    Fences is about the Maxson family. Troy works as a garbage man in Philadelphia, and is questioning why only white men get to be drivers. His teenage son, Corey, is trying to convince his dad to let him play football, and get recruited by a college. His older son, Lyons, is drifting between music gigs. His brother, who sustained a head injury and mental damage in WWII, has moved out, taking his monthly payment from the government with him. Rose, Troy's wife, is the glue that holds the family together. And Bono, Troy's best friend looks up to his friend and all that he has. But there is an angry undercurrent in Troy.I was a theatre major, but we read Piano Lessons in class and not Fences. I don't remember much about it; an unfortunate side effect of reading a couple plays a week for several semesters. After finishing Fences today I feel a need to go back and read all his works. Troy and Rose are complex characters. Troy has a magnetism to him, and is able to make you both dislike him and feel sympathetic. Rose is a rock; the glue of the family. But that doesn't mean her life is all she wanted. How the other characters interact with these two, and how they interact with each other is fascinating to read. As I sat in the library tonight finishing the play, I was openly crying. I cannot wait to see Denzel and Viola take on these characters in a few days. And I wish I could have seen James Earl Jones take on Tony.

  • Nicole Homich
    2019-03-26 16:03

    Fences is a heart-rending picture of an African American family doing the best that they can in the North that rejected them after their migration from the South. Troy is a hard man, but he is someone that you have to feel for because of all the obstacles that have stood in his way from birth. *Spoiler-ish*Post-slavery, Troy's sharecropper father was a terror to his wives and children, abusing the only power he had, to the point where Troy walked the 200 miles then hitched a ride to "freedom" in the North. But when Troy arrived in Pittsburgh, there was no place a black man could live or work, and so he became a criminal just to survive. In prison, Troy found his talent for baseball, but found only bitterness in the end when he could not make a future for himself in the sport as white athletes could. When he finds stability, he holds onto it for 18 years, but finally cannot stay on "first base" any longer when new opportunities spark his fire. And though it is foreshadowed, his revelation is a stunner...

  • Naomi
    2019-03-08 13:42

    I read this book in 8th grade, but decided to read it again because I forgot alot of stuff in it. But I do remember really enhoying this book because the book centers itself around such themes that made up a black america in the 1950's and 60's. The main character Troy Maxson is a middle aged man who has settled down with his wife and two sons, taking care of his care-free brother and his unsettling job as a garbage collector. His dream was once to be able to become a baseball player for the MLB but because of the racial discrimination that faced him, he never acheived that dream, and doesnt want the same to happen with his younger son Cory. At first, I was confused why a book like this would be called Fences, but if you read it, you see how August Wilson used dialogue written in the format of a play in able to put his perspective out there about the world, the colored man and the society that they try to survive in every day.

  • Ken Moten
    2019-03-24 11:50

    I will definitely write a more proper review when i get the chance, but I had to comment. I saw this play on Christmas Day after having a copy of it on my shelf for years and DAMN do I feel like a fool for not reading it sooner. The cadence and heart of this play is incredible the characters in their attempt to break out of the cages that society (and they themselves) are trapped is amazing and the the genius of August Wilson is something I wish I had been exposed to so much earlier. I will elaborate further in the future, but this is a beautiful play and an essential of the American theater. "Gabe: Now that's how it's done!"

  • Mya
    2019-03-22 15:04

    I really enjoyed it; I thought I wasn't going to but it was insightful