What is the significance of the title, "Fences"?

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Jessica Akcinar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Fences are significant of many things in this play. In fact, fences means different things for different people. For example, Rose believes the incomplete fence surrounding the home will maintain her family safe inside it. However, Troy believes the fence keeps people out . After the death of Alberta, Troy finishes building the fence as a way of keeping Death, a character in the play, from claiming anyone else.

Fences meant something else for Troy as well. He constructs a fence surrounding his son Cory in order to keep him from his football dreams, thus creating an invisible "fence" in their relationship.

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jesse55555 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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This answer is both superficial and irrelevant to the overall meaning of the play, sure you can summarize what the fence literally does, but figuratively, it symbolizes Troy's "fencing" in of people's lives. He fences Lyons in because he is never there for Lyons, so Lyons grows up without a father or role model. He fences in Cory by treating him unfairly and not signing his football contract, limiting Cory's opportunities for success. He fences in Gabe by signing him away to the asylum for his pension. And he fences Rose in with the responsibility of a child that is not hers. This is the figurative meaning of the title fences.

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kmoo345 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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