What are some examples of other types of fences in the play? I have so far come up with the gates of heaven that Gabe discusses on numerous occasions, and the fence that must have surrounded the prison. I imagine that there is a reason the play is named Fences and not The Fence.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

August Wilson entitles his play “Fences” in order to establish ambiguity as to which fences are truly the most detrimental to his characters’ ability to cope with everyday life. He explores a number of themes throughout the work, all of which hearken back to the barriers these fences provide against the self-realization of his characters, and their ability (or inability) to break their own internal patterns of entrapment and dependency. These themes include inner-city poverty, racism, patriarchy, and the pursuit of one’s dreams, and all serve to reinforce the omnipresent nature of fences and the need to overcome them.

The most obvious example of such metaphorical fences is revealed in Troy himself, who, through his excessive miserliness and authoritarian ways with his friends and family, effectively isolates himself from all those people who otherwise care deeply for him. Wilson’s fences, however, also convey a deeper sense of his character's internal reticence in overcoming their...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 808 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team